Israeli Intelligence to Be Granted Full Access to National Biometric Database
TECHNOLOGY, 27 Nov 2023
Expanding Data Collection and Use
21 Nov 2023 – The Israeli government is implementing significant amendments in the usage and access of biometric data, which could have profound implications for privacy rights, per recent reports from the Calcalist.
This move demonstrates a radical shift in the control of civilian and private biometric data, especially during the country’s wartime.
The series of altered data permissions are presently making their way through the Knesset, the country’s legislative body, taking the form of regulatory modifications and legislative memos. This proposes a scenario where, barring judicial resistance, the Israeli military, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement could acquire increased surveillance authority.
The Knesset-approved shift in data access is far-reaching and profound, seeking to overturn previous government resolutions. Central to these changes is the all-encompassing access granted to the National Biometric Database. The Israeli government maintains that the purpose of this database is “to protect the identity of the Israeli citizens and to ensure that every person has only one set of official documentation and one unique identity — the person’s true identity.”
This massive data repository will now play a part in identifying victims of crime as well as locating kidnapped or missing civilians. However, the retooled regulations allow for the biometric information to be handed over to security forces for simple identity verification, provided conditions within the nation are declared a “special situation.”
Another notable aspect is the absence of any oversight by other government entities for this new scope of data access. Logically, the national database could evolve into a distinct biometric database not governed by earlier or updated regulations.
Ken Macon is a teacher and contributor who focuses on researching and reporting on mass surveillance and privacy rights across the world. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: Big data, Control, Data protection, Internet, Israel, Privacy, Privacy rights, Spying, Surveillance
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