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Belgium to Roll Out Pilot of Europe's Largest Government Deployment of Java Enabled ID Cards
Belgium to Roll Out Pilot of Europe's Largest Government Deployment of Java Enabled ID Cards

(April 14, 2003) - This month the Belgian government is introducing the country's first Electronic Identity Cards. The EID is the largest project of Sun Microsystems' Java technology enabled national ID cards in Europe, aiming to provide every Belgian resident over 12 years old with a personal ID card based on Java Card technology. The EID project sees the Belgian government taking a leading position in the world for eGoverment and electronic ID for citizens.

The EID project is the single largest government deployment of Java Card technology in Europe. This month marked the start of the pilot phase, with tens of thousands of cards distributed among the inhabitants of 11 cities spread over Belgium, allowing the system and its logistics to be tested on a real scale. The pilot will be evaluated by the Council of Ministers after a trial period of at least 6 months. In the event of a positive evaluation by this Council, the Belgian government expects to distribute over 10 million Electronic Identity Cards.

The roll-out of the new national identity card will mark a major milestone in the development of e-government. The credit card sized cards will deliver the same official functions as the traditional identity card - name, photo, date of birth. In addition the card will be equipped with several physical security elements and an advanced Java enabled chip.

Java Card technology enables multiple applications to co-exist securely on a single smart card. The card will also act as a secure, individual digital signature to applications such as declarations or application forms.

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JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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