Israeli government’s call for mandatory biometric ID system met with backlash

Israeli interior minister Aryeh Deri has called for all Israeli citizens to obtain a mandatory biometric identity card, with their personal information stored on a national digital database, according to a report by The Times of Israel. As detailed in a memorandum, in the next two weeks citizens will be permitted to comment on the new ID system. Following this period, the bill will go to a ministerial committee, and if approved, it will be put to a vote in

French watchdog warns government about building biometric database

Following previous policing efforts against Facebook Inc and Google on data privacy, French watchdog organization CNIL is working towards ensuring that the government does not breach the privacy of citizens, according to a report by The Business Times. CNIL president Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin recently warned the French government against building a central database with fingerprints, photos and other personal information of nearly all its citizens. “Fighting terrorism is an undeniable priority and it may call for new tools, but new deployments

Thailand calls for mandatory online fingerprint ID system for mobile SIM card registration

Mobile operators om Thailand will introduce an online fingerprint ID system for new prepaid and postpaid mobile SIM card registration, with a tentative deadline set for next February, according to a report by the Bangkok Post. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), however, is asking for all existing mobile users to put their fingerprints in the system on a voluntary basis for their own security benefit. “We urge all mobile users to participate in the system to ensure greater

EPIC files FOIA lawsuit against FBI over biometric database system

Privacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a lawsuit against the FBI, earlier this month, to force the agency to release all documents related to its plan to provide the Department of Defense with access to biometric information, according to a report by On the Wire. The biometric data — which includes fingerprints, iris images, and facial photos — is stored on the FBI’s Next Generation Identification system, which the agency has been using for a few years. “With

Singapore introducing iris scans at land and sea checkpoints for identity verification

Iris recognition technology will be introduced at Singapore’s land and sea checkpoints within the next two years to boost identity verification methods, according to a recent report in Channel NewsAsia. Just last week Singapore’s Parliament passed amendments to the National Registration Act to strengthen the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). Photos and fingerprints are currently used to identify travellers at Singapore’s checkpoints, but starting next year, the ICA will start collecting iris images from

France unveils plans for ID database containing biometric data of 60M citizens

France unveiled last week plans to build a single, unified identification database containing the biometric data from the passports and identity cards of 60 million citizens, according to a report by Ars Technica UK. The measure went uncontested in the French National Assembly as it was announced on a national holiday by government decree. The proposed database will contain the person’s name, date and place of birth, gender, eye color, height, address, photograph, fingerprints, email address, along with the names,

Israeli government likely to freeze experimental biometric database in December

The Israeli government said that its experimental biometric database will be deleted if the legislation procedures aren’t completed by June 30, 2017, according to a report by Haaretz. The biometric database is likely to be frozen in December, based on a Knesset decision on whether to fully implement it or shut it down, according to the lawmaker heading the committee supervising the project. Knesset member Nissan Slomiansky said the government will make the decision in a few months, adding that

UK wants access to biometrics data stored in EU security databases post-Brexit

A senior counter-terrorism officer said that Britain’s access to data in Europe-wide security databases, following the Brexit vote, is “mission critical” in regards to protecting the public, according to a report by Belfast Telegraph. Helen Ball, Deputy Assistant Commissioner at the Metropolitan Police, brought up the issue of returning Islamic State fighters in her discussion about law enforcement arrangements with the EU post-Brexit. The future of several tools and arrangements is in jeopardy following the Brexit referendum vote, including the

Biometric census of foreigners ordered in Bolivia

According to a report in MercoPress, the government of Bolivia has ordered the Immigration bureau to undertake a biometrics-based census of all foreigners in the country to verify their status. Bolivian Interior Minister Carlos Romero said that the Immigration bureau is to conduct the census work with Interpol and that they have twelve months to “regularize” the status of foreigners. Romero told the media that the decree was approved by the Council of Ministers who took into account violent crimes

Germany planning to deploy facial recognition surveillance at airports and train stations

German Interior Ministry Thomas de Maiziere is looking to test facial recognition video surveillance in the country’s train stations, according to newly leaked documents cited in a report by DW. The use of facial recognition software is part of a draft law to increase video surveillance in public spaces across the country that the cabinet plans to pass later this month. The ministry said it is in talks with the federal police and rail operator Deutsche Bahn “to test the