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Israel’s new national policy ensures fair use of biometric applications


Last week the Israeli government declared a national policy on biometric applications, enabling the fair use of biometric applications, according to a report by iHLS.

The policy is designed to ensure a balance between the advantages and risks associated with the use biometric applications, making Israel the first country to implement a national policy regarding biometrics.

Ram Walzer, Biometric Applications Commissioner in the Prime Minister’s Office, reported at the annual Secure Identification and Biometrics Conference that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had confirmed the national policy on the use of biometric applications.

The policy was established by the country’s leading experts in biometrics, information security and privacy, following consultations with key officials in the government, the private sector, and the public at large.

Walzer said the policy does not include the Ministry of Interior-led national smart documentation project, which addresses the use of identity cards, passports, and biometric database.

“Biometric applications are based on a rapidly developing technology, and are already part of our daily life (e.g. at government offices, border checkpoints, hospitals, health funds, credit companies, cellular, access to installations and systems), a trend that is expected to grow,” Walzer said. “The use of biometric applications can result in more efficiency, facilitating business, profits gain, processes improvement, widening and making accessible of numerous services at the public governmental sector as well as at the private one. However, there are also potential dangers”.

The conference, organized by the Commissioner and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, addressed the government’s activities in the biometrics field, as well as discussed the innovations, challenges, and global trends.

The event also served as a space for hundreds of participants to meet several of Israeli start-up companies in the field.

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