AD/Rotterdams Dagblad, 28 Jan 2014: 'Parkers' data to be kept anyway'
“Rotterdam is still storing data on parkers, even though the courts no longer require it. The Privacy First Foundation is threatening to take legal action to force the municipality, like Amsterdam, to stop. Part of the council is also critical.
(...) All information is stored in a database, which is managed by a private company (Parkmobile). That stores this data for at least seven years for checks by the tax authorities or judicial authorities. According to traffic councillor Jeannette Baljeu (VVD), the municipality complies with the legal requirement in terms of the retention period.
But D66, which has previously been concerned about the privacy of parkers in the introduction of license plate machines, wants the municipality to stop doing so altogether, just like the city of Amsterdam. "There is no doubt that it was well thought out there and I think you should always look and learn from other municipalities," said councillor Brenda Dirkse.
Also if it were up to the VVD party, the information would no longer be stored for so long. ''You shouldn't keep data longer than strictly necessary for parking. Parking is not meant to catch crooks," said VVD councillor George van Gent.
The court also ruled late last year that parking data need not be handed over in bulk to the tax authorities. The latter wanted to use that data to check whether people were concealing the fact that they were using their leased cars privately. The company SMSParking refused to hand over the data of two million transactions in 2012. The court ruled in favour of the company.
The Privacy First foundation, which strongly opposes the introduction of ticketing parking in Amsterdam, is therefore very surprised that Rotterdam is going ahead with retention. "If the municipality continues to do that, we would very much regret it," says spokesman Vincent Böhre.
Ideally, the foundation would like to see ticketing not introduced at all. Otherwise, as in Amsterdam, the data should be deleted after 13 weeks (objection period). If not, the foundation will start legal proceedings, Böhre warns. "We did the same in Amsterdam."