Participation picks up for Israel’s biometric database program

February 10, 2014 - 

Two hundred-thousand Israelis have applied for biometric identity cards or ePassports, following last year’s launch of a biometric database pilot program in the Middle Eastern country.

According to a report in the Yeshiva World News, officials have said that more than 50% of the visitors to ministry offices come looking to opt in for biometrics.

Under the system, applicants are photographed and have their fingerprint scanned in to the system.

Starting in a year and a half, the government will also launch an online portal for holders of biometric cards to access government services.

Reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, the initiation of the biometric database project has been a long process in Israel. Parliament first started talking about the database in 2009 and a trial was set to begin in 2013, though there were a number of issues and delays which saw this launch date pushed further into 2013.

Among the delays, the Israel High Court of Justice held a hearing on a petition seeking the annulment of a law that would establish a governmental biometric database. In the hearing, Justices voiced harsh criticism of the government’s preparation for the pilot program, suggesting the creation of a centralized database is an “extreme” and “harmful” measure and not a necessity to implementing smart ID cards.

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for BiometricUpdate.com. His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for CBCNews.ca, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj