Israel’s biometric database pilot to begin in two weeks

After much ado, Israel’s biometric database pilot will begin in two weeks.

According to Haaretz.com, comments confirming this came from Deputy Interior Minster Fania Kirshenbaum earlier this week. Specifically, the database project was slated to begin in November 2011, though lengthy legislative proceedings, an appeal to the high court of justice, as well as a labor dispute have prolonged this process. The labor was resolved two weeks ago, and now database implementation is set to begin.

As we reported previously, this news comes after years of debate regarding a centralized biometric database in Israel. As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, the Israel High Court of Justice held a hearing earlier this year 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.

Plans for the pilot test were first drafted in 2009, and it was determined that biometric data, collected for passports and identity cards, would be stored in a central database.

Also reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, the Knesset in Israel recently approved a trial of its new biometric database and issuance of associated smart identity cards. The directive, approved by a joint committee, was set to begin in January 2013 and last for two years.

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