The Belgian e-ID and its complex path to implementation and innovational change

This article provides a critical view on the development and deployment phase of the e-ID in Belgium since 1999. It is based on extensive desk research and fifteen in depth-interviews with experts and stakeholders from government, administration, academia and industry who have been key in the development of the e-ID. The article identifies different elements that influenced, both in a positive and negative way, the societal, technical and political aspects of the Belgian e-ID. It shows that no severe problems occurred during the initial deployment phase, which came to an end in 2009 providing over eight million Belgian citizens with an e-ID. The pre-existence of a National Register and the preliminary experiences with the exchange of digital information between administrative entities in the field of Social Security enabled and facilitated the development and the distribution of the e-ID. However, the research also reveals that usage of the e-ID by citizens and uptake of e-ID based services by administration and business remains limited due to multiple factors. The complex system of state structures in Belgium and as a consequence the dispersion of competences across different governmental entities makes that no unified approach to e-government and e-ID based services has been developed. From the industries’ point of view the privacy framework and the strictly regulated use of the National Registration Number provides no clear view on the allowed use of data accessible through the e-ID hampering take up in this area.
Keywords e-ID  e-commerce  e-government  e-signature  Path dependency
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s12394-010-0042-2
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 42,938
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Path Dependency of National Electronic Identities.Herbert Kubicek & Torsten Noack - 2010 - Identity in the Information Society 3 (1):111-153.
Editorial.James Backhouse - 2010 - Identity in the Information Society 3 (1):1-3.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Path Dependency of National Electronic Identities.Herbert Kubicek & Torsten Noack - 2010 - Identity in the Information Society 3 (1):111-153.


Added to PP index

Total views
16 ( #515,461 of 2,259,410 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #213,546 of 2,259,410 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature