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Minister De Crem issues first electronic identity card (eID) in the city of Lokeren

2020, January 16

The Minister of Home Affairs and Security Pieter De Crem issued the very first electronic identity card in Belgium tonight and did so in the city of Lokeren. This was the kick-off of a process that will continue in the coming weeks and months in some 25 cities and municipalities. “The electronic ID is an important step in the fight against document and identity fraud committed by terrorists and criminals”, said Minister De Crem.

The actual identity cards have been in existence since 2002. A renewal of the existing model was therefore required, partly due to the huge technological and digital revolution that has taken place since then. The new version launched today has some new features, including a fingerprint. “These technical innovations make the eID a safer and more universal travel document. In addition, this eID is an important tool in the fight against document and identity fraud. We know for instance that the terrorists involved in the attacks in Paris and Brussels used fake identity documents to find places to hide out”, according to Minister De Crem.           

By issuing this eID, Belgium also complies with a European obligation imposed by a European regulation. “The introduction of this eID is therefore not a decision taken on a national level. As an EU Member State, we are obliged to do this. I can however guarantee that we will meet our citizens’ concerns with regard to privacy : the fingerprints are not stored in a database and can only be consulted on a secure chip”, said Minister Pieter De Crem.

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