The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved changes to the Population Registry regulations on Wednesday – including regarding the issuance of planned new “smart” electronic ID cards. The approval gives the green light for the Population Registry to begin a two-year pilot of the smart ID cards in the near future.
Under the proposals, citizens receiving a smart ID card will also be given a personal password granting access to read data stored on the card’s electronic chip. That password can be changed, should a citizen request it.
Civil rights attorneys have criticized the smart ID card proposals, particularly plans to include biometric data such as fingerprints, on the cards. Opponents of the biometric ID card plans, including attorney Avner Pinchuk from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, have warned of “irreversible damage” should Israelis’ biometric data, including fingerprints, be leaked. ACRI says such a leak could greatly increase the risk of identity theft, and that this is a particular concern in the wake of a massive Population Registry data theft.
The committee also approved adding new personal information to the main body of ID cards.
Israelis registered as of “no religion” and who chose to marry under the partnership covenant law will be recorded on their ID cards as a “partner in a partnership covenant.”
New ID cards will also record the ID numbers of a person’s spouse and those of any children, as well as the name of the person’s grandfather. Where appropriate and if a parent requests it, the ID card will record that a child has died and state the date of death.