On 14 January 2021, the Belgian Constitutional Court delivered a highly anticipated judgment on the legality of the integration of the digital format of two fingerprints in ID cards, introduced through Article 27 of the Belgian law of 25 November 2018. After a balancing of interests, the Court ruled that the inclusion of digital fingerprints on ID cards does not violate the fundamental right to respect for private life, thereby providing clarity on a heavily criticized matter and setting an important precedent.
Heidi Waem, Emma Stockman of DLA Piper write:
On 20 June 2019, the European Union adopted Regulation 2019/1157/EU which will enter into force on 2 August 2021 and which will introduce the mandatory obligation for Member States to include two fingerprints in interoperable digital formats in national ID cards. Prior to this Regulation, however, Belgium already adopted a similar obligation through Article 27 of the Law of 25 November 2018 on various provisions relating to the National Register and population registers. The article was particularly controversial and quickly resulted in five appeals for annulation before the Belgian Constitutional Court.
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