MSN Belgium to use eID cards for online checking

R.A. Hettinga rah at
Wed Feb 2 09:11:57 PST 2005


The Register

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MSN Belgium to use eID cards for online checking
By Jan Libbenga (libbenga at
Published Tuesday 1st February 2005 14:34 GMT

Microsoft will integrate the Belgian eID Card with MSN Messenger.
Microsoft's Bill Gates and Belgian State Secretary for e-government Peter
Vanvelthoven announced the alliance today in Brussels. "We're working to
ensure that our technologies support e-ID, to help make online transactions
and communications more secure," Gates said. eID stands for Electronic
Identity Card. The card contains an electronic chip and gradually will
replace the existing ID card system in Belgium. By end-2005, over 3 million
eID cards will be distributed in the country.

Microsoft believes that combined with the eID Card MSN Messenger chatrooms
will be much safer. Users would have a trustworthy way of identifying
themselves online. The Belgian Federal Computer Crime Unit (FCCU) could
even refuse young children access to certain chatrooms based on their
electronic identity.

"We're not sure yet when we will be able to deliver this integration," Bill
Gates said. "But developers here in Belgium and the US have proven the
concept and are working already on the actual solution."

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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