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MSN Belgium to use eID cards for online checking

Integrates govt card into MSN systems

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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." ®

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