ANP, 30 January 2015: 'Entering license plate when parking not mandatory'
"Motorists are not obliged to enter their license plate information when paying for parking in Amsterdam. This follows a ruling by the Amsterdam court on Friday. However, motorists in that case must be able to prove in some other way that they have paid.
Parking meters in Amsterdam currently require the entry of license plates. This will allow inspectors to check the license plates of parked cars with a scanning car.
Chairman Bas Filippini of the Privacy First foundation, which rises for the protection of private data, had filed a lawsuit against the municipality of Amsterdam. He had entered fabricated license plate details when parking his car and was subsequently fined. By showing the receipt from the parking machine, he was able to prove he had paid anyway.
According to the court, entering incorrect data need not automatically result in a fine. "Proof that a car has been paid for parking can be provided in various ways, not just by correctly entering the registration number at the ticket machine." A fine may only be imposed if no payment has been made, the court stated.
Privacy First believes that every citizen has a right to privacy, even when parking their car somewhere. Amsterdam was one of the first municipalities to introduce 'license plate parking'. Checking with scanning cars leads to substantial cost savings, as fewer inspectors are needed and no paper parking tickets need to be issued. Several other cities have now also introduced this method of paid parking.
The Amsterdam municipality disagrees with the ruling and wants the Supreme Court to rule on the issue. Motorists who do not enter a correct license plate number when paying are therefore still fined. The Amsterdam court made a similar ruling last year. Then, too, a receipt was considered a proof of payment even though no correct license plate number had been entered. This case was not about privacy."
Source: ANP, 30 January 2015.