This post is targeting all Belgium readers, but considering the success it has in the digital market, I think this post could benefit everybody.
To start, in Belgium every citizen has a personal identity card… this used to be a small card with all personal info, like your current address, gender and age.
But thanks to the digital revolution, Belgium created an eID ! In other words a smaller card with a chip embedded that will contain even more info about the citizen, like a digital signature to electronically sign documents online.
Now nothing but good words about this evolution, but let me show you the loopholes in the system ( all found through personal experience by getting my own card ).
* Acquire the card
First you have to acquire the card, this happens with you getting a letter indicating to go to the local community with a freshly taken photograph and some money to pay for the handling cost !
So what is the problem with this, well they’ve created a set of rules that needs to be followed when presenting your photograph ( check it here ).
So to be compliant, you actually best take the picture digitally so you can correct small errors or take the picture again ! BUT you can’t present the picture in any digital form !! Let me repeat this, you CAN’T give a digital version ! Meaning that following procedure will be taken :
- Take picture
- Go to photographer to print picture on quality paper ( one of the rules )
- Go to community to deliver paper
- Community sends paper to government for eID processing
- Government digitalizes paper
- You get your eID with a digital version of your paper
Did you notice the flaw in the process ? Let me help you… you have a digital version, but you have to create an analogue version, so they can recreate a digital version and you have to pay for it ! How lame is this…
* Receiving the card
This is not for everyone but could happen to a select few. I live at a place where they divided some land in 2 separate parts and resold them. So to avoid the problem assigning house numbers they just indicate our place with 405A and the neighbours with 405B ! All done at the community and this information is presented on our land certificate.
So when you go to the community to receive your eID and notice following house number specification : 405/A000, you start ask questions and get the weirdest answers !
It seems that the government created a structure to indicate the correct location of a specific apartment. This structure is given a 4 figure place, I don’t know all the details but 2 of it gives information about the floor level and the apartment number.
Now because of this structure, people with separate house numbering are also stuck with trailing numbers !! It gets even stranger that they can use anything from the alphabet inside it, but can’t ( because of ruling ) leave out the trailing zero’s !!!
So not only do I now have 2 separate references to our house ( on the land certificate and my eID ), I also have trailing zeros that aren’t actually there…
When someone sends me a letter now, the postal office can get 2 different indications for the same house !! Taking into account that there are sometimes already some problems getting the right letters for 405A or 405B, adding the 405/A000 reference will add up the mistakes.
I know these are some minor things, but for me being in the software business, I just can’t except this flaw. PLEASE ANYONE CHANGE THIS !
Update: I’m not the only one with problems about this eID ! Take a look here
Update: Another progress ! But not yet in Belgium ? Here…