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New design and higher security: Zetes starts production of the new eID

January 2020 by Marc Jacob

Zetes has begun producing the new Belgian electronic ID card. Yesterday, at a press conference in Lokeren attended by the Minister, Pieter De Crem, the Ministry of the Interior announced the launch of this eID in 25 pilot municipalities.

Zetes has been in charge of manufacturing the eID since its launch in 2003, and today it supports the Belgian authorities in modernising the ID document for all Belgians and other residents of the Kingdom. This new document has several new features and some security-enhancing improvements.

Cutting-edge techniques and a world first

The card now has two chips instead of just one: a contact chip and a contactless chip. The contactless chip allows the eID to act as a travel document, with the possibility of reading it at border crossings, whilst the contact chip continues to be used for the citizen’s online interactions with, amongst others, the authorities. It also allows the possibility of adding an electronic signature. As a travel document, the eID is also fully compliant with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards.

The design has also been completely revised and has new elements to combat counterfeiting even more efficiently. The presence of the photo combining a perforation technique on the front and laser printing on the back of the card is an innovation in the field. It is also a world first. With the main photo and the fact that it is saved on both chips of the card, this visual element is present in five different locations, and therefore a very strong security feature.

A highly secure document

The Belgian eID is a key document for all Belgian citizens, and its use in electronic form and via the Web is increasing. Above and beyond managing a high-performance document able to foil any attempt at reproduction, the management of citizens’ data with a view to personalisation also requires high security. That is why the eID production site has the most advanced certifications, such as ISO 27001.

In its capacity of travel document, the eID will hold the information of two fingerprints, a technique which is already widely in use and integrated in the passports.

Through its ZetesConfidens division, which holds QTSP status (Qualified Trust Service Provider), Zetes will also handle the issuing of authentication and electronic signature certifications, in accordance with European eIDAS regulations.

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