There is a growing controversy centering on national identification. In the U.S. it spotlights on the PASS ID, which is a proposed revision to the REAL ID. In Israel, it’s about a national biometrics database.

The Security Industry Aassociation, in conjunction with the Document Security Alliance (DSA), will conduct a Webinar on proposed revisions to the federal "REAL ID Act" on Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 1 p.m. ET.

Real ID established new security requirements for driver's licenses in 2005 that have been strongly opposed by many states and privacy advocates. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, has proposed the "PASS ID Act" (S. 1261) to replace REAL ID's mandates with requirements that are less expensive and easier to implement. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has endorsed the bill.

The Webinar is to include presentations by Kathleen Kraninger, DHS deputy assistant secretary for policy (screening coordination), Molly Ramsdell, the National Conference of State Legislatures' senior policy director for state-federal relations, and Rick Outland, chief document examiner for ID Scientific and president of DSA.

The Webinar is free for SIA members, DSA members and government employees and costs $35 for others. Register on the SIA Web site at

According to Nathan Jeffay of The Forward, Israel may become the only democratic country to take biometric information from all citizens and store it in a database.

The plan, approved by a Knesset committee and set for a final vote in the fall, is expected to pass easily, as the largest opposition party and the government support the bill. But that apparently won’t prevent outraged human rights organizations, academics and grass-roots activists from spending the rest of the summer protesting the plan.

Champions of the database say it is crucial for Israel’s security. “The danger to the state in the present situation, in which there is no database of biometric information, is critical,” according to Kadima lawmaker Meir Sheetrit, who drafted the bill.