“Authorities estimate that the new eIDs will fully replace the old ones over the course of the next decade or so.”
Authorities in Belgium are back on track in their project to roll out biometric ID cards across the country.
As The Brussels Times reports, the plan had initially got underway with a municipal pilot project at the start of 2020, but the effort was put on hiatus after the COVID-19 outbreak. With a little over 53,000 ID cards having already been issued, Belgium’s Minister for the Interior, Institutional Reform and Democratic Renewal, Annelies Verlinden, has announced that card issuance is once again underway.
Belgians already use eID cards, but the new ones feature embedded fingerprint data. The biometric information is stored in a secure chip on each card, and not in a remote database, helping to ensure that it can’t be compromised in a hack or data breach.
In announcing the resumed rollout, Verlinden asserted that the biometric data, along with a perforated photograph on the back of each ID card, help prevent potential forging of the documents. She also said that the use of biometrics is compliant with European Union regulations implemented last year.
Belgians are welcome to apply for the new cards; alternatively, they will be issued the biometric eIDs once their current eID cards expire, excepting cases of lost, stolen, or damaged cards. Authorities estimate that the new eIDs will fully replace the old ones over the course of the next decade or so.
News of the rollout’s resumption comes after the Belgian government renewed an e-passport contract with Thales and Zetes last autumn.
Source: The Brussels Times
January 7, 2020 – by Alex Perala