In compromise, biometric database to be split

Refusal to provide fingerprints for new ID cards will be a criminal offence.

In a last minute compromise, it was decided today that the biometric data base of photos and fingerprints will be split between the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Interior. According to the compromise worked out by Minister of Interior Eli Yeshai and chairman of the Knesset Science and Technology Committee MK Meir Shetreet, the minister will be allowed to introduce a regulation splitting the database.

This came about after the committee approved the bill for its second and third reading in the Knesset. The bill will be debated in the Knesset plenum by tomorrow afternoon. Even so until the minister introduces the regulations the law will not go into effect.

Under the terms of the compromise, the Ministry of Justice will set up a database which will be separated from all other systems. The database will contain encoded photos and fingerprints alongside an ID code for every entry. A database will also be set up in the Ministry of Interior with a code alongside every ID number. In order to match up the biometric information about a specific person there will be a need to cross reference between the databases in the two ministries.

When the law comes into effect, every citizen who wants to renew his or her ID card will be required to provide a photo and fingerprints. Refusal to do so will be a criminal offence.

To make matters easier for religious Israelis, women will not be required to remove their head covering for photographs.

The law also sets out other violations such as up to seven years imprisonment for unauthorized use of the database and up to five years imprisonment for passing on information from the database to a third party.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 28, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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