Where in the world do they have biometric databases (hint: far from what Israeli officials keep claiming)
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README.md

The #BioCitationNeeded project

Map was done with DataMaps. Respect.

What is this?

The Wikipedia entry Biometric Databese Law deals with the Israeli law that might soon force all citizens to submit their biometric information (2 fingerprints and a biometric facial photo) to a database. You can read more about it here.

Intuitively, one would assume Israel is the only country in the world that has such a law, but - as the saying goes - [citation needed] :).

Among the propaganda being spread by the supporters of the Israeli database there are often claims that "many countries" or even "most of the modern world" have such databases. Sometimes they even name specific countries. Frequently, these errors stem from the fact that many countries have a biometric passport or some other form of biometric ID card. The crucial difference between storing the biometric information of a single person on a card and maintaining a database that would enable identification of the entire population from an arbitrary photo or fingerprint gets lost in the spin.

If you read Hebrew, some of the debate regarding the situation in "other countries" is covered here.

This little project tries to crowdsource link-backed information regarding various issues per country. Namely, does country X have:

  1. A biometric passport
  2. A national ID card (compulsory / non compulsory)
  3. A national biometric database (compulsory / non compulsory)

[if you think we should be asking other questios, feel free to comment, but the idea is to keep it as simple as a few "does country X have ..." questions ]

A good example for a link-backed answer for 1. is this Wikipedia entry, since it answers the question for many countries in one go.

Any link that can answer 1 or more of these 3 questions with a yes/no/it's-complicated for 1 or more countries is welcome.

How to help

If you have a link that could add information to this project, or even correct something wrong written here, please suggest it.

The simplest way to do that is via my contact form. Remember to write how you want to be credited (name + link).

Also feel free to fork this and edit stuff yourself (either the information, or the code).

For those about to fork (we salute you):

Prerequsites

Rendering everything

  • make ;)

Files

Layout html templates (_*.template)

  • _index.template — html template of homepage

  • _index-he.template — html template of Hebrew version

  • _country.template — html template of a country's page

Data

  • citations.json — Theoretically, contains all data. Practically, partial templates are used (and reused) when there's need to write more than a single paragraph of html (easier to edit text when it's not inside a json string ;) ).

  • Partial templates (*.template except for _*.template) — contain html content you can import into citations.json by writing a string like "<biopass-wikipedia" (to include the template biopass-wikipedia.template. Mustache can be used with the relevant tag and country context (e.g. {{country.name}} or {{tag.description}}). See biopass-wikipedia.temlplate example.

  • *.md — in most cases, the *.template files are generated from their corresponding *.md markdown files. For example, biodb-wikipedia.template gets generated from biodb-wikipedia.md by make.

  • en2he.csv — a tweak to translate citation values ("Compulsory", "No", etc.) and country names to Hebrew. If you add new citation values, run python2 makeen2he.py: it will create en2he-new.csv containing whatever en2he.csv had, plus all additional values that were added to citations.csv. You can then edit the csv file with soffice etc. and add Hebrew translations.