The Federal Government has decided to add fingerprints to identity cards from April 2019, despite sharp criticism from the Privacy Commission, Het Laatste Nieuws reported on Friday. The inclusion of fingerprints had been proposed after the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels in November 2015 and March 2016 respectively. Various terrorists had been able to move around with false identities.
In the Spring of 2018, the Privacy Commission had, however, come out against the idea. It found that adding fingerprints to ID cards was unnecessary and non-compliant with Belgium’s Law on Privacy.
Interior Minister Jan Jambon (New Flemish Alliance, N-VA) has decided to apply the measure despite the opposition to it. A draft law has been prepared and the first of the new ID cards will be in circulation in April next. “They will be rolled out in waves,” Jambon said. “People will not have to go specifically to their municipalities to have their fingerprints done.”
There will be no general database for fingerprints. In fact, it will not be possible to keep them for more than three months.