Israeli National Biometric ID Card

Israeli National Biometric ID Card

Wow… this is like National Biometric ID Week at the Biometrics Advisor… when it rains it pours… Here is some news from Israel:

In Israel, every person that is a permanent resident is required to carry an identification card (except for those who are younger than the age of 16). This card is printed in both Hebrew and Arabic. If a police officer requests to see the ID, the person must be able to produce the card. There are fines for people who are unable to do this, although the fine can be rescinded if the person follows up within five days to rectify the issue.

There is currently a movement in the Israeli government to improve the security of these identification cards by using features that are based on biometrics.

Some data that the government is interested in embedding into these cards include fingerprints and facial features. However, some roadblocks have emerged in the discussion about implementation. There is particular concern that the technology yields an error rate that is much higher than is acceptable. While it is acknowledged that the identification cards can decrease the amount of fraud that comes from identity theft, some feel that errors that come from biometrics-based cards could lead to false accusations or time wasted on investigating the errors.

With opposition coming from privacy advocates, who are concerned about the potential abuse of personal information that is embedded in these identification cards, the Israeli Interior Ministry is working to hold more sessions about the possibilities of biometrics-based cards, particularly in regards to security.

Kadima party MK Meir Sheetrit has gone on record to reject criticism of the Biometric ID Card law by saying the bill is crucial to Israel’s security and pointed to the estimates that said there may be up to 350000 people currently in Israel have fake ID cards.

There will likely be more discussion about the use and storage of the personal data to ensure that people’s identities are safe in order to get better acceptance by the people.

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