Belgian court could rule on legality of fingerprint ID cards this year
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Belgian court could rule on legality of fingerprint ID cards this year

Credit: Belga

The Constitutional Court may rule later this year on the constitutionality of the fingerprints on the electronic identity card (eID), said privacy activist and lawyer Matthias Dobbelaere-Welvaert on Monday, who has raised funds to bring the case to court.

The issuing of the new identity cards started at the beginning of the year. However, the Data Protection Authority (DPA) had issued a negative opinion on this measure put in place by former Interior Minister Jan Jambon.

The appeal was lodged in March. While awaiting the court’s decision, “the number of municipalities on trial is increasing significantly and the government is moving forward under the impetus of the De Crem cabinet,” he said.

De Crem said that the changes would align Belgium with international standards on identity and security checks.

“It is crucial that the Constitutional Court can first examine this measure before all Belgians are obliged to give their fingerprints,” according to Dobbelaere-Welvaert.

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The activist believes that the law is disproportionate to its potential benefits. “What’s more, we have never received any figures to support this measure,” he denounced.

Dobbelaere-Welvaert’s “Stop the Digital Fingerprint” campaign has raised more than €25,000 from 1,000 donors, who intend to have the measure repealed.

If the issuing of fingerprint eID cards is judged constitutional, it is estimated that all Belgian residents will hold one from 2030 at the earliest.

The Brussels Times