Daily Israel Report

Foreign Workers to be Recorded in Biometric Database

The Interior Ministry is proposing a new regulation to require foreign workers to register with a biometric database
By David Lev
First Publish: 9/13/2012, 3:17 PM

Illegal Africans in Tel Aviv
Illegal Africans in Tel Aviv
Israel News photo: Flash 90

The Interior Ministry is proposing a new regulation to require foreign workers to register with a biometric database, that would be used as the main information database about them. A spokesperson for the Ministry said that the government had very little information about these people, and that the database would “fill in a lot of blanks.”

The regulation would apply to foreign workers here legally, as well as those here illegally. Legal workers would be required to register with the database on arrival in Israel, while illegal workers would be added as they are caught by immigration police. The Ministry said that most European countries, as well as the U.S., have similar databases. It should be noted that police are planning the development of a biometric database that would include all Israelis. The project has been held up by legislators over privacy concerns, as well as a number of lawsuits.

Anyone legal immigrant who refuses to register will be denied an entry permit into Israel, or detained for deportation, according to the proposal. Police, social workers, immigration service workers, and even staff at Kupot Holim doctors' offices will be empowered to register individuals; the registration process includes photographing and using sensor equipment to capture data, as well as the submission of samples for analysis. Illegal aliens over 14 years of age can be forced physically to register, the proposal says.

The Ministry said that it was planning to submit a proposal on the matter to Knesset committees after the Rosh Hashanah recess.