Belgium Moves Forward with National e-ID Program

Belgium is moving forward with the country's national e-ID program according to card reader manufacturer SCM Microsystems.

The company's readers were chosen for use in the e-ID program, and SCM delivered those card readers this week to international technology group Giesecke & Devrient which will integrate the company's readers into the ID program.

Belgium will be the first European country to standardize the national electronic identity card, with every citizen required to own an e-ID card by 2009. That means approximately 10 million cards will be issued within the next five years.

When Belgium fully issues the card, it will include such personal data as date of birth, family tree, civil status, current and previous addresses and military situation. The card will also include remote authentication technology so that card owners can access e-government applications and attach an electronic signature to certify the authenticity of the transmitted data. The card is not expected to contain biometric data, at least at first launch of the program.

According to G&D's sales director, SCM's card readers were chosen for their "high performance." The company selected SCM's Secure Trusted Reader, which features a card reader with built-in display and secure PIN. The reader uses 1,024-bit public key cryptographic functions for more security.