What is a biometric database: a computerized and secured database that contains unique data for every individual. The database was established by the State following legislation, and contains images of facial features of all residents of the State of Israel. The database also contains images of fingerprints of all residents who consent to storage of their fingerprints in the database. The database is managed by a separate authority – the Biometric Database Management Authority, that is separate from the Population and Immigration Authority.
What is the purpose of the biometric database: the purpose of the database is to enable the examination and comparison of facial features and fingerprints in order to prevent forgery and impersonation; the aim of the database is to protect against identity theft and to verify that every person will have one identity.
Biometric means of identification: when applying for an ID card, passport or laissez-passer, two fingerprints of the applicant are scanned and a photograph is taken of the applicant’s facial features;
Storing biometric means of identification:
The biometric means of identification are stored as follows:
A. The image of the facial features and the scanned images of the two fingerprints will in any event be stored on an electronic chip;
B. Images of the facial features of all residents of Israel will be stored in the biometric database;
C. Scanned images of the fingerprints of all residents who grant their consent will be stored in the biometric database.
Storing an image of facial features and images of fingerprints enables verification of the information saved on the electronic chip and in the biometric database and its comparison to the person’s fingerprints or facial features according to the provisions set forth in the law and for the purpose of preventing identity theft.
Consent to storage of two images of fingerprints in the database and the ID card, and the passport validity date: a resident of the State of Israel who consents to the storage of scanned images of two fingerprints in the biometric database (in addition to the image of facial features whose storage is mandatory) will receive an ID card and passport with a validity date of up to 10 years. Residents who do not grant their consent – will receive an ID card and a passport with a validity date of up to 5 years;
It is not mandatory to consent to the storage of images of fingerprints in the biometric database;
Residents of the State of Israel who do not consent to storage of the images of their fingerprints in the biometric database – the fingerprint images will be provided for the purpose of comparison with images in the database, and following the examination will be deleted and will not be stored in the database.
Consenting to storage of scanned fingerprint images
Adult: consent to store two images of fingerprints in the biometric database will be granted by signing the consent form;
Minor: consent to store images of fingerprints of a minor (only above 16 years of age) requires the signature of a parent in addition to the signature of the minor on the consent form.
An individual who has an appointed legal guardian: consent to store images of fingerprints of an individual who has an appointed legal guardian requires the guardian’s signature. Should the ward understand the issue at hand, the ward will also sign the consent form.
Uses of ID cards or travel documents (passport or laissez-passer) with a validity date of up to 5 years will be identical to documents with a validity date of up to 10 years, except for the document’s validity date.
Validity of travel document for a minor – a travel document for a minor (passport or laissez-passer) is in any case valid for up to 5 years.
Validity of laissez-passer (for adult or minor) – laissez-passer is in any case valid for up to 5 years.
The option to withdraw consent and to request deletion of fingerprint images stored in the database – beginning September 1, 2017 a request may be submitted at a Population and Immigration Authority bureau to delete the fingerprint images stored in the biometric database.
A request to delete the fingerprint images of a minor or of an individual who has an appointed legal guardian does not require two signatures – the signature of the minor or of the individual who is the appointed legal guardian, or the signature of the representative, will suffice.
When submitting the request for deleting the fingerprint images from the biometric database, the individual’s ID card, passport or laissez-passer will be returned and voided, and new documents will be issued in their place with a validity date of up to 5 years. The process for issuance of the new documents is the same and must be completed in full.
Temporary order – the mechanism for storing fingerprint images in the biometric database by consent is temporary for a period of 5 years and may be extended through legislation.
Implications of storing fingerprint images in the database and their use – transfer of information to the police and to security authorities – according to the law, should the individual consent to inclusion in the database, the police and the security authorities ( the General Security Service and the Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks) will be able to receive information from the database (identification results or images of facial features and fingerprints stored in the database) under certain conditions set forth in the law. It is prohibited to use the images of facial features and fingerprints stored in the database for any purpose that is not otherwise specified in the law.