The Israeli Biometric Database Pilot Kicks-Off

The Israeli Population, Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) recently launched the pilot phase of the Israeli biometric database (see our detailed article about the Biometric Database Act). The pilot, originally scheduled to kick off in the beginning of 2013, has experienced some delays due to PIBA employees' strikes and some legal setbacks - all of which have been resolved in the meantime. The pilot phase was launched at a single PIBA regional office and is planned to expand to all nationwide offices within two months.

During the pilot phase, Israeli citizens arriving at PIBA offices seeking its services will be asked to provide their fingerprints and be facially photographed. Those participating in the pilot phase will then be issued Smart ID Cards, which are encoded with the biometric data collected. Throughout the two year pilot phase, biometric data will be collected on a strictly voluntary basis. Thereafter and subject to the conclusions drawn and results derived from the two-year experience, biometric data collection will become mandatory for every citizen seeking to issue or renew his or her ID card or passport. Source: Calcalist (in Hebrew, by Omer Kabir).