Automation Guide, 19 March 2013: 'Anger over license plate storage'
"The House of Representatives will discuss tomorrow the use and storage by the police of camera images of vehicles and their number plates. The Ministry of Security and Justice sees a lot in expanding the possibilities. But a lawsuit against the proposed system is already looming in advance.
Cameras record vehicles and their license plates in traffic. The data can then be automatically compared with license plates of vehicles registered in the name of acquaintances of the police, for example someone who has yet to serve a sentence or pay a fine. The license plates visible on camera images are immediately compared with a file of license plates in the name of those 'acquaintances'. If this yields a 'hit', the police start working. The remaining 'no hits' go into the bin.
Stored for four weeks
Soon the police will be allowed to store those 'no hits' for 4 weeks and use them to solve crimes. Storing, by the way, will be done without including a personal name. After reporting or discovering a crime, the police can then start investigating, for example, whether the car of the suspect of a robbery has been spotted at a certain place.
'Everyone potential suspect'
The Council of State is already not enthusiastic. But the Privacy First Foundation, known for its fight against the new passport, is not at all going to settle for this if it becomes legally possible. Then there will be a lawsuit, says Vincent Böhre of the said organisation. Every citizen becomes a potential suspect by this measure, his foundation believes, and everyone's whereabouts are just recorded and kept. The government should leave innocent citizens alone and take action only when there is reasonable suspicion.
Citizens themselves too easily
"We should go back to such classical fundamental rights and not criminalise the entire population. It is now increasingly being reversed. In doing so, it can be done anonymously, but everything can be traced and everything can also be hacked," Böhre said. According to him, citizens themselves are also becoming far too easy in releasing all kinds of information. "That is a collective process, stimulated by developments like Facebook."
Source: Automation Guide 19 March 2013.