A pilot project, to be launched in 25 municipalities at the end of 2019, will see fingerprints registered on the chips of Belgian ID-cards.
The project will concern people who are required to get a new ID-card during the trial period.
The proposal originally faced heavy criticism from several political parties for being unethical and a violation of privacy, according to VRT NWS.
On Friday morning, the federal council of ministers announced that they would start the project at the end of 2019. Pieter De Crem (CD&V), Minister for Domestic Affairs, said the fingerprints are "inevitably to protect citizens from identity fraud by criminals and terrorists," reports VRT NWS.
- The digital fingerprints of 2,000 Belgians temporarily published
- Government plans to include fingerprints on identity cards from 2020
"It is an important step in the fight against identity and document fraud," said De Crem. "It also helps us to meet the European requirements to include fingerprints on the chip of new identity cards. It is up to the next government to definitively transpose the prints to all new Belgian identity cards," he said, adding that it could be done in less than a year.
The pilot project will start in Lokeren, Sint-Genesius-Rode, Waasmunster, Aalst, Wichelen, Lievegem, Oostende, Merelbeke, Berlare, Geraardsbergen, Denderleeuw, Wetteren, Sint-Lievens-Houtem, Leuven, Aat, Charleroi, Frameries, Saint-Ghislain, Colfontaine, Leuze, Komen-Waasten, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Eupen, Doornik and Brussels.
The Brussels Times