Israel launches pilot ID program challenged in court

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Interior Ministry began a two-year trial of its controversial biometric data program.

Beginning Monday, Israeli citizens seeking to obtain or renew their national identity cards can choose to receive a smart ID card by submitting their biometric data, including fingerprints and facial contours.

The pilot program will start in Rishon Lezion and Ashdod. It will be available in all population registry bureaus nationwide by the end of August.

Israel civil rights organizations challenged the program in court, claiming it violates the privacy rights of Israelis.  Data leaks and information theft are also a concern, according to the organizations.

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