Passport fingerprints never checked

In its fight against identity theft, for eight years Belgium has included fingerprints for its citizens within a microchip on their passport.
However, as Knack reports on Wednesday, nobody has ever been checked.

The Spokesman and Head of Communication at the FPS Foreign Affairs, Didier Vanderhasselt, confirms, “For now, digital fingerprints on e-passports can only be read by the FPS Foreign Affairs.” They cannot therefore be checked at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, by foreign officials at European borders, or even by the Belgian communes, which issue these passports.

However, Belgium has been gathering fingerprints since 2010, for all citizens aged over 12 years. In the meantime, more than two million people have received a biometric passport.

Didier Vanderhasselt asserts that in 2018, the entire system will overhauled. He says, “Both communes and Belgian consulates will be able to compare the fingerprints of an individual requesting a new passport, to those taken in respect of his or her previous passport.” The FPS Foreign Affairs says that collaboration with other European countries in this sphere is also moving forward.

The author: Margareta STROOT

Margareta Stroot, a multi-talented individual, calls Brussels her home. With a unique blend of careers, she balances her time as a part-time journalist and a part-time real estate agent. Margareta's deep-rooted knowledge of the city of Brussels, where she resides, has proven invaluable in both of her roles. Her journalism captures the essence of the city, while her real estate expertise helps others find their perfect homes in the vibrant Belgian capital.

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