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Knowledge Base of ICT Applications for Public Service

Electronic Identity Card
Institution: Federal Public Service for ICT
Implementation Date: ene 01, 2001
Summary: In October 2002, the Government of Belgium launched the project, Electronic Identity Card (eID Card), which is a smart card that provides authentication and digital signature capabilities for Belgian citizens.

The card is used to secure applications ranging from online income tax returns and medical scheduling to online applications for a Certificate of Residence and safe chat rooms, as well as private-sector applications such as online banking. It provides the Belgian citizens with maximum access to government information and services.
Impact: In less than three years, approximately two million smart eID cards have been issued. By 2009, all Belgian citizens over 12 years of age will have their own eID card, making a total of over eight million cardholders.

The Government has not only developed middleware to enable the large-scale deployment of low-cost eID-compatible smart card readers, but it has also distributed more than 125,000 readers to youngsters receiving their first eID card at the age of 12. This programme has resulted in a substantial reduction (more than 50 per cent) in the price of entry-level smart-card readers.

The Belgian eID card is the largest deployment of smart-card-based identity cards in Europe and is often viewed as the benchmark for such programmes.

This has led to multinational corporations creating Centres of Excellence in Belgium to explore the technological and organizational requirements for successful, large-scale smart-card projects.
Source: Federal Public Service for ICT
Project Home URL: http://www.eid.belgium.be
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