ITPI Comments on the draft bill to authorize law enforcement’s use of Special Photography Systems (LPR & FR)
Israel Tech Policy Institute (ITPI) has delivered its comments regarding the Memorandum of Law for Amendment of the Police Ordinance [New Version] (Amendment No.) (Special Photographic Systems), 5721-2021 (Memorandum is a draft that is published to the public, in advance of promoting Governmental Bill). The Memorandum Seeks to enshrine in legislation the use of special photography systems, including systems for photographing license plates (LPR) and biometric face recognition (FR). The memorandum also allows the Minister of Internal Security to allow the use of additional systems without the obligation to publish these systems.
The Institute’s comments emphasized the need to examine the various implications of new technological systems, before implementing them. This includes examining their reliability, the manner in which they are used (which can sometimes impair their reliability) and the benefit that such systems have for law enforcement versus the risk of human rights violations.
ITPI’s position suggests that the Israeli law examine every technological system by its own and regulates it separately. A single general framework is not preferable due to the differences of special photography technologies – by the manner of use, reliability, challenges and risks arising from each system. We believe that for each system, there must be an assessment whether the damage that may be caused by the use of the system and the chance of its realization, is reasonable and proportionate in relation to the achievement obtained from the use. Due to this, ITPI recommended that a preliminary risk assessment would be hold before integrating any new system.
ITPI referred to the broad authority that the memorandum seeks to confer on the Minister of Internal Security as well, that by his decision solely, can authorize the police to use additional special systems, without any supervision, monitoring or transparency.
Regarding the use of a Face Recognition System, we alerted problems discovered in the U.S.A regarding the use of FR for enforcement purposes. For example, varying levels of accuracy of FR systems with respect to minorities, as well as practices that led to misidentification of suspects.
In addition, we issued specific comments on the proposed Bill, as well as supplementary legal provisions to the memorandum in relation to the obligation to delete the accumulated information, the need for a preliminary court order for the use of systems, preventing the use of information obtained from the systems as a single evidence and more.
Adv. Rivki Dvash, a senior fellow at ITPI, wrote the Institute’s position.
For the full position (In Hebrew) click here.