The biometric identity card is coming

Belgians renewing their identity papers will soon have to provide their photo so it can be put in a facial recognition system.

This is to prepare for the arrival of the new biometric identity card, the Mediahuis papers reported on Saturday.

The identity photos will be compared to old photos using a computer. The software will measure the jawline or the distance between the eyes, for example, to identify the person. This will help prevent identity theft, says Home Affairs Minister Jan Jambon (New Flemish Alliance).

Civil servants currently do not use facial recognition. The technology “is not yet stable”, Prime Minister Charles Michel said when talking to Sudpresse.

The Home Affairs Minister says the system should be operational by 2019.

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