Verspers, 6 March 2011: 'Netherlands now the only one with fingerprint bank'
"Two years after its introduction, the Passport Act is still keeping tempers high: the organisation Privacy First recently filed a lawsuit against the state, and even the European Union is now interfering with the legality of the Dutch legislation.
But there are objections to the fingerprint database. As mentioned, the database is closely intertwined with concerns about the privacy safeguards of Dutch citizens. One common concern is that the database could be hacked by criminals looking to commit identity theft, something the AIVD has previously warned against. Another objection is that with the storage, every Dutch citizen would be seen as a potential criminal. Another factor is that the data from the database could be used for more and more purposes without the Dutch citizen being informed, let alone consenting to it. Moreover, many legal experts point out that the right of every citizen not to cooperate with his or her conviction will be lost. Finally, the independent organisation Privacy First argues on its website that citizens who become victims of theft or improper use of their fingerprints will have no recourse with any government agency. This is because the new Passport Act states that no one can be held responsible for damage or theft of the data.
Privacy First made big headlines because of the Passport Act when, in May 2010, it and 21 co-plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the state over the central storage of fingerprints. The plaintiffs' claim was that the Passport Act should be declared unlawful because the law violates human rights, especially the right to privacy. In early February this year, both Privacy First and the 21 co-plaintiffs were declared inadmissible because any citizen can go to court on their own and Privacy First is not defending its own interest, according to the court. The organisation announced its intention to appeal after the ruling.
For Privacy First, however, it is clear that citizens' privacy rights are going to win out over politics. In a press release dated 16 February, the organisation stated that it expects to win the case "left or right."
Read HERE the entire article in Verspers.