ANP, 28 April 2015: 'Route checks are against the law'
"It must not come to the point where we have to take shortcuts to escape 'Big Brother'. That is what chairman Bas Filippini of the Privacy First foundation warned against on Tuesday, in the court in Utrecht. Filippini used a court case there about a traffic fine following a section control, to provoke a court ruling on principle about how this section control system violates the privacy of innocent motorists.
A network with 150 to 200 cameras for route controls in the Netherlands also records license plates of innocent motorists. Moreover, nobody checks how long the images are kept and the images are increasingly used for purposes other than speed checks, according to the foundation. This violates both the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
The Constitution and the ECHR protect citizens' privacy. A government may only pry into the privacy of citizens if it is necessary to safeguard public order and provided the invasion of privacy remains minor. Registering license plates with cameras is not a minor infringement, the foundation believes.
According to the foundation, such a far-reaching breach of privacy requires an additional legal description of when this can and cannot be used, how long the images can be kept and for what purpose the images can be used. While that legal description is currently being drafted, it has not yet passed through the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament. As a result, the government can now trace the movements of any innocent citizen.
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) argues that it is allowed to take camera images and keep them for a short period of time to properly carry out the task of investigating speeding offenders. The privacy violation involved is limited, according to the prosecution.
The subdistrict court will rule on 12 May. Incidentally, the fine used to start the privacy discussion concerns 45 euros for 7 kilometres speeding in 2012."
Source: ANP, 28 April 2015. Also published in Limburgs Dagblad, BN/De Stem, Dagblad Tubantia/Twentsche Courant, Leeuwarder Courant, Dagblad de Limburger & Dagblad van het Noorden 29 April 2015.