The Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority in the Ministry of Justice (ILITA) imposed a fine of 258,000 NIS (approx. 70,000 USD, or 55,000 Euro) on a company which distributed and sold databases and software, which mainly relied on an illegal copy of the Israeli Citizen Registry.
The company, M.N.R. Information Systems Ltd., specializing in the development of systems managing judgment execution cases and providing computer services to businesses dealing with debt collection, has developed a component that allows users to locate personal information about a person who is the subject of the search.
This component was sold to the company's customers with a file containing information about most of the citizens of Israel, including full dates of birth, contact details and ID numbers of the parents. The software enables the mapping of family and neighborly connections and, of course, the physical location of a person. M.N.R Ltd. sold the component with the attached database to approximately 80 different customers, most of which are law firms.
As part of the enforcement activity in this case, ILITA issued, for the first time, a warrant for search and seizure of a copy of M.N.R.'s computers, software copies, and databases, and performed advanced investigation procedures on these items in order to analyze the data and identify the violations.
The imposition of these fines is a direct continuation of a fine of NIS 177,000 imposed by ILITA about 6 months ago on the company " Marketing and Trade Point Ltd.", for using the illegal database "Agron" circulated on the Internet.
Recently, the Constitution & Law Knesset Committee (parliamentary committee) approved an updated to the administrative offences regulations related to privacy offenses, so that the fines will be up to NIS 5,000 for a violation made by an individual (which can also be an employee or a director of a corporation), and NIS 25,000 for a violation made by a corporation. This update replaces the former NIS 600 and NIS 3,000 fines which exist today. The updated fines will strengthen ILITA's position in its war against violation of the Protection of Privacy Law in computerized databases.
Adv. Mili Bach, Head of the Enforcement and Investigations Department in ILITA: "our activity in this case accomplishes one of the main goals of the enforcement of privacy and the protection of personal data in Israel - the war on illegal trade of data. With the progress of our enforcement activities we will also work towards filing indictments which will increase the severity of punishment accordingly."
Adv. Yoram Hacohen, Head of ILITA: "the imposition of fines on the data proliferation link, emphasizing the criminal aspects of this act and raising awareness to the very existence of sanctions set in the law - all constitute a clear signal to the importance ILITA gives to the protection of citizens privacy itself, as well as to the rigid enforcement it will uphold in future cases of violations of the law, including the execution of personal sanctions against officers in corporations.