AutoWeek, 21 Sept 2011: 'Big Brother Amsterdam scans your license plate! Is that allowed?'
Amsterdam is going to scan your number plate. Should we be happy about that?
Bas Filippini, chairman Privacy First Foundation:
"Soon all cars in Amsterdam will be monitored. Then it will only be a very small step to put a filter over them. Whose behaviour deviates? Why were you there? And so on. You should have a free choice to go where you want without the government knowing about it. The police say the data will not be stored, but for how long does that apply? The monitoring equipment that is there now was only there to pick out dirty trucks. Now something is being added against that agreement. And it really won't stop there. It is bad that the legal principle is being reversed: by monitoring everyone, everyone is suspect. The government distrusts citizens, but expects the same citizens to show trust. Good legislation on profiling, the full tracking of people, is missing. And so, under the cover of charity, the government can investigate its citizens all it wants. We quickly need legislation that puts the brakes on the government. Because a government that is constantly watching you, that is the definition of a police state."
Back in your cage
Luc Vranken, deputy editor-in-chief AutoWeek:
"I am under no illusion that the government necessarily has its people's best interests at heart. I think it is mostly very concerned with sustaining and keeping itself going. And that is often disorganised and inefficient. Logical, because in the Netherlands we want to arrange and regulate everything, which means we have no overview at all. (...) The government regulates things, provides a level of services, safety, public green spaces and an army. That costs money and we all spend it together. So far, so good. It becomes different when people in public service start imposing themselves and when, out of boredom (because all possible speed bumps have now been built), they try to curtail the freedom of the citizens who cough up their salaries. Overview is good, but control freaks are scary and annoying. And sure enough, sooner or later the opportunities offered by far-reaching control will be abused. Or that something will go wrong with data security. You can wait for that. Sure, everyone with a mobile phone (i.e. everyone) is traceable, but calling is a free choice, just like using or not using your Bonus card or going on Facebook. And this is not. This is definitely a step too far. Back into your loft, government! Know your place!"
Source: AutoWeek 38 - 2011, p. 3. (The entire article is unfortunately not online. A copy of it can be sent to you by Privacy First free of charge upon request).