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AD/Rotterdams Dagblad, 20 Aug 2014: 'Stop retaining parkers' data'

Rotterdam politicians and the Privacy First Foundation believe Rotterdam should quickly stop long-term retention of license plate data of parkers, especially now that license plate parking has also been introduced in the city centre. The foundation is calling on citizens to go to court.

Citizens urged to go to court

With the new license plate machines, Rotterdam can see exactly who parks where and when. The municipality chooses - unlike Amsterdam, for example - to keep that data for seven years. This would be necessary because of a covenant with the Tax Administration, which wants to be able to request the data. That way, it can check whether people drive more private kilometres with their lease car than they declare.

But according to the Privacy First Foundation, which is also fighting against license plate parking in Amsterdam, Rotterdam does not have to do this at all. ''There is no national legislation for this and it is not in preparation. It is municipal policy. That it would be required by law is nonsense," says spokesman Vincent Böhre.


He therefore finds it "astonishing" that Rotterdam refuses to follow Amsterdam's example. That municipality destroys the data of paying parkers after just one day. Of motorists who are fined, the data is kept for up to 13 weeks in connection with appeals.

Privacy First has now asked the Dutch Data Protection Authority (College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens (CBP) to investigate whether Rotterdam is violating the Privacy Act by doing so. The organisation is also calling on citizens to go to court. "We are ready to support them in doing so."

There is also a lack of understanding within the Rotterdam council about the lengthy retention period. ''Seven years is of course utter nonsense,'' says SP party chairman Leo de Kleijn, who will soon come up with a motion. ''I think you have to put privacy first, especially with something like parking. This is not about serious crime." Other parties, such as D66 and the VVD, also want Rotterdam to stop it.

According to traffic alderman Pex Langenberg, he is now having a discussion with the tax authorities about the long-term retention of transaction data. (...)"

Source: AD/Rotterdams Dagblad, 20 August 2014, Region/Rotterdam section, p. 1.