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Israeli MoH to Disclose Personal Data of Unvaccinated Individuals to Local Authorities

Publications / Feb 28, 2021

Article written by Haim Ravia, Dotan Hammer and Adi Shoval

The Israeli legislature (the “Knesset”) passed an amendment to the Public Health Ordinance, authorizing the Israeli Ministry of Health (“MoH”) to disclose personal data of individuals not vaccinated for COVID-19 to local authorities and the Ministries of Education and Labor so that they can encourage COVID-19 vaccination.

Before the amendment was enacted by the Knesset, it was published for public comments for 24 hours only, during which over 13,000 comments were submitted. The Israeli Privacy Protection Authority also expressed its objections to the amendment, noting that disclosing individuals’ health information without their consent violates their right to privacy. It also argued that less intrusive alternatives should be considered, such as transferring aggregated data for specific sectors in the population that refuse to be vaccinated, thereby allowing local authorities to target sectors instead of specific individuals.

The amendment was ultimately revised so that information about individuals who received the two required doses of vaccine will not be disclosed. In addition, the amendment allows unvaccinated individuals who were contacted, to opt-out of any further communications to encourage them to be vaccinated. The amendment is in force for an initial period of 3 months.

CLICK HERE to read the Public Health Ordinance (Amendment No. 36 – Provisional Measure – the New Coronavirus), 5781-2021 (in Hebrew).