Wed, 14 May 2014: 'Jumble of cameras along motorway'
“Along Dutch roads there are thousands of cameras recording license plates. If it is up to minister Opstelten, the police will make more use of the equipment.
Next time you drive down the motorway, look for cameras. How many are there? And any idea who owns that equipment? Chances are you will soon lose count. There are a lot of them. But how many exactly, no one really has any idea. (...) If it were up to Security and Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten, the police would make more use of smart devices. Now the police are not allowed to do much with the ANPR systems at the roadside and on police cars. Only so-called 'hits' are allowed to be stored in a police database for several working days. These are number plates registered with an outstanding fine or as stolen, for example. All other number plates seen by the cameras should in principle be deleted immediately. (...)
But that is not enough, the police think. To take just one example: if a crime does not come to light until more than a week after the fact, it would be useful to be able to look up in their own systems whether a suspect's car has indeed been at a particular place. It is therefore a long-held desire to store all license plates seen by the cameras. Until 2010, it was already the practice at several police forces. Until the Dutch Data Protection Authority put a stop to it, as there appeared to be no legal basis for it.
Opstelten wants to change that. Soon, the Lower House will further discuss the plan to authorise the police to keep all number plates picked up by the equipment for four weeks. (...)
Should Opstelten's law come to pass, the Privacy First Foundation has already announced it will go to court. A number of lawyers also expressed their reservations earlier. The pain point: every citizen - even if they are not suspected of anything - will end up in the police database. And the question is whether the European Union's privacy directive allows that. (...)"
Source: Wed, 14 May 2014, background section The Floor, p. 2.