Belgian interior minister Jan Jambon has announced that he will ask Belgium’s privacy watchdog to consider introducing a new technology that will make it possible to store people’s fingerprints on their ID card.
Jan Jambon announced his plans during a visit to Morocco where the practice was introduced back in 1975. All Moroccan nationals aged 18 and over are obliged to have their fingerprints taken.
Since 2008 the information has been digitalised and the security services can access the information via the ID card. Jan Jambon said the technology is already available, but that the debate was still on whether it should be used.
“I believe the debate could still develop. I’m going to ask the privacy commission under which conditions the system can be employed”, said Jambon.
“What’s next? Our DNA there?”, asked a disgruntled position politician.
Jan Jambon is at the origin of Belgium’s decision to impose controls on its border with France to make sure no migrant camps are set up in Belgium and to keep migrants from slipping aboard Britain-bound ships in Zeebrugge.
Belgium’s security services under Jan Jambon have come under sharp criticism from France and elsewhere in Europe for allowing violent radicals to gain a particularly strong foothold in Belgium.
Jan Jambon is affiliated to the nationalist, far-right party New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) of Bart De Wever, which is a member of the governing coalition.