The Belgian law of 25 November 2018 containing various provisions relating to the National Register and the population registers, published in the Belgian Official Gazette on 13 December 2018, has amended the law of 8 August 1983 regulating the National Register and the use of the national identity number
The Belgian law of 25 November 2018 containing various provisions relating to the National Register and the population registers, published in the Belgian Official Gazette on 13 December 2018, has amended the law of 8 August 1983 regulating the National Register and the use of the national identity number (“rijksregisternummer”).
In the light of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), access to the National Register is now governed differently, including for police services. From now on, an authorization for access to the National Register or the use of the national identity number will no longer be granted by the former Sectoral Committee of the National Register, but by the Minister of Interior Affairs. The Sectoral Committee of the National Register was part of the previous Privacy Commission that has now been replaced by the Data Protection Authority.
The Minister of Interior Affairs will evaluate the legitimacy of the application and the purposes for which an authorization is requested. Disputes regarding the decision of the Minister must be brought before the Council of State. The law provides that the Minister may delegate his power of authorization to the General Directorate for Institutions and Population of the FPS Interior Affairs.
The law exempts police services from the obligation of obtaining a prior authorization for access to the National Register. However, members of the police may not communicate the data obtained to persons who are not authorized to receive the data or who use the data for purposes other than the performance of the tasks of administrative and judicial police.
The law also provides for other derogations from the authorization obligation for the usage of the national registry number, such as (i) when such use is expressly provided for by law, (ii) when obtaining knowledge of the national register number in the course of merely reading the electronic identity card or receiving an electronic signature certificate or electronic authentication certificate and (iii) when the national register number is used exclusively for the identification and authentication of a natural person in the context of an IT application offered by a private or public institution of Belgian law or by the authorities, institutions and persons referred to in Article 5, § 1 of the law. In the third scenario referred to above (see bullet (iii)), the provider of the IT application is obliged to use pseudonymisation and encryption techniques with respect to such data.
The law also provides that adult persons can give consent to the services of the National Register to communicate updates or changes to their data in the National Register to private and public institutions of Belgian law. However, such consent can only be given if strict conditions are met. Amongst others, a contractual, reciprocal, explicit and formal relationship must be established between the institution and the natural person, and the institution must inform in advance which of the exhaustively listed purposes it is pursuing with respect to the updates (i.e. order and/or delivery management, invoicing and collection of invoices, management of financing files, recall of dangerous or damaged products and management of disputes). Other conditions reflect the obligations under the GDPR, such as the communication of the retention period and the requirement of a free, specific, informed and unambiguous expression of will in order to constitute a valid consent.
Source: Act of 25 November 2018 on various provisions relating to the National Register and the population registers, Belgian Official Gazette 13 December 2018.