Israels’ Interior Ministry will be reevaluating its pilot of smart identity cards, The Jerusalem Post reports. The decision came during a recent High Court of Justice hearing and questioned whether a single, centralized biometric database is the best choice for collecting and maintaining citizens’ data.
Civil rights groups and data security campaigners petitioning that such a database could suffer information leaks and give the government the ability to control and conduct surveillance on the citizens. The petitioners also claimed the ministry did not study any alternatives to a centralized database.
Although the court rejected the full petition due to the fact the two-year smart card pilot hasn’t yet started, it did state the government needs to step back and figure out whether a single database is necessary.
The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved the smart card pilot in May. The Interior Ministry has had the program in the works for several years.
Although the pilot can move forward with voluntary tests before the pilot starts, the ministry needs to establish new parameters and standards that the pilot will test.
Civil rights groups have been sensitive to this type of information gathering after a recent theft of a sensitive population registry database that exposed personal data for nine million Israelis.
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