Bill Gates praises Belgian ID card

2nd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

2 February 2005, BRUSSELS - Microsoft chief Bill Gates has praised Belgium's new electronic ID card.

2 February 2005

BRUSSELS - Microsoft chief Bill Gates has praised Belgium's new electronic
ID card.

During a visit to Brussels, the head of the computer giant said he wanted his company to adapt its software to allow for the use of the new card.

Belgium is in the process of phasing out its current ID cards in favour of a new electronic identity card, the size of a bank card and fitted with an electronic chip.

Gates lauded the invention as a world first,  the Belgian media reported on Wednesday.

Flanked by Peter Vanvelthoven, Belgium's secretary of state for information technology, Gates announced that Microsoft will integrate the Belgian ID technology into its MSN messenger programme.

This would allow the holder to identify himself on the internet and prevent fraud.

Gates said he wanted to make it safer for children in particular to use the internet, but no concrete date has yet been set for the development of the new technology.

Belgium is currently the only European country planning to distribute the electronic card on a large scale.

Similar projects are already starting to take shape in Austria, Finland and Estonia.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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