Israeli Knesset Commences Deliberations on an Amended Protection of Privacy Law

The Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) commenced deliberations on the Protection of Privacy Bill (Amendment No. 14), 5782-2022, after its approval in first reading late January. The chair of the committee, Member of the Knesset Gilad Kariv, indicated that this amendment is “only the beginning” and that the mission at hand for the committee is much broader.

According to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), amendment no. 14 only includes a part of the amendments required to adapt the law to modern challenges. Additional bills implementing further amendments are expected in the near future. The MoJ also responded to public criticism on its approach to merely minimize the obsolete database registration obligation and clarified that it does not rule out the possibility that, given the appropriate circumstances, it will be completely abolished in the future.

The Head of the Israeli Privacy Protection Authority, Gilad Semama, said that the law currently does not provide sufficient tools for effective protection of Israeli citizens’ privacy: “on one hand, the administrative enforcement track is an insufficient deterrent, and on the other hand, the criminal enforcement track is only suitable for extreme cases, and there are not enough enforcement tools for the intermediate cases”. Adv. Semama also mentioned that the Privacy Protection Authority is already taking steps to adapt to the forthcoming legislation of amendment 14.