Federal Government working to expand Itsme application

Federal Government working to expand Itsme application
Illustration picture shows the Itsme smartphone application, a digital ID app, on a smartphone in Brussels, Thursday 28 May 2020. Credit: Belga/ Thierry Roge

The Secretary of State for Digitalisation, Mathieu Michel (MR) has announced a virtual identity card to complete the services of the Itsme application.

This should take the form of a downloadable application on smartphones. Since it was launched five years ago, the Itsme identity application created by the country’s major banks and telecom operators has already been used by 6.5 million Belgians.

Its best-known use is for the Covid Safe Ticket, though the application is also embedded on the Tax-on-web site. This allows taxpayers to connect via the FAS (Federal Authentication System) in complete security.

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“The highest level of identification must be guaranteed by the State. It is a sovereign function,” Michel explained on Tuesday. “Virtual identity should be a prerogative of the Federal State. Identity should not become a regional competence."

However, the Secretary of State cautioned against becoming “totally dependent” on a private company like Itsme for identification functions.

The Itsme app is used between 25 and 35 million times every month. Over 1,000 government platforms and more than 250 companies, from banking to energy to human resources and notaries, offer Itsme as an identification method.

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