MK Khenin on Biometric Data Bill: Towards a Big Brother Society

The Knesset plenum passed a preliminary vote on a bill, on Monday, December 19, to include biometric verification methods and biometric verification data in ID documents and in the national database. 41 MKs voted to support the bill, 25 were opposed, and the bill was forwarded to the House Committee to decide which Knesset Committees will ready it for the next vote.


Deputy Interior Minister Meshulam Nahari (Shas), who introduced the bill at the plenum, assured the Knesset that “all the national security agencies have tested the issue in depth and most experts have recommended the establishments of a biometric verification data center.”

Hadash MK Dov Khenin (Joint List) objected to the new bill on the grounds that it ushers in a Big Brother society. He argued that there shouldn’t be a connection between smart ID documents, which are a good idea, to prevent identity theft, and the inclusion of the collected data in a center that’s available to the state at will. “Like every other database, the biometric verification center is bound to be broken into, sooner or later,” Khenin notes. All the objections at the plenum debate, including from MKs Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid) and Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) had to do with the fear of government abusing the collected data.