Belgians in cunning misspelt ID card plan

Shud confuze frawdsters

A new Belgian electronic ID card contains typos introduced purposely to confound potential fraudsters, Luc Vanneste, General Director Population and Institutions of the Belgian Home Office, proudly announced this week.

To trick fraudsters, the Home Office has introduced three circular arcs on the card - just beneath the identity photos - where you will find the name of the country in the official languages spoken in Belgium - French, Dutch and German, as well as in English. But instead of 'Belgien' in German, the ID card incorrectly uses the name 'Belgine' and instead of 'Belgium' in English, the card reads 'Belguim'. Vanneste has promised other errors will be printed on the card to "further confuse fraudsters". With any luck, these will not be revealed.

Belgium is the first European country with a nationwide electronic ID card. The personal information on it is stored at the country’s central population register, and contains a digital certificate so that users can securely access e-government applications. The card - valid for five years - will gradually replace the existing ID card system in Belgium. By end-2005, over three million eID cards will be distributed in the country. ®

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