Binnenlands Bestuur, 26 July 2017: 'Arnhem opens underground containers for now'
"Arnhem has put a temporary end to the 'waste passes soap'. The municipality was in court several times in recent years for violating privacy with waste passes for underground containers. Over the next few weeks, all 1,000 containers in Arnhem were 'unlocked' and opened to everyone.
Combination with address data
Scanning the waste pass to open the container is currently no longer necessary for Arnhemmers. The municipality took the decision after a long-running discussion about privacy with resident Michiel Jonker, who, with the support of Privacy First, started a legal battle over the waste pass. Privacy First considers the combination of dumping data and address details a violation of privacy.
'No other option'
The municipality informs De Gelderlander that it saw no other option to end the discussion. 'Although to date we do not use a link between the waste card and the landfill data in any way, the council no longer considers it desirable to allow this situation to continue.' The councillor says that the municipality does not want to know when residents deposit their waste, although in theory this can be found out through a linkage. And that violates the Data Protection Act. To minimise the risk of too much waste in the containers, the municipality is looking for alternative access systems that do not violate the law.
Discussion on decision-making
Jonker objected to the introduction of the waste pass in 2014 and asked the court to overturn the municipal decision. The judge ruled in favour of the municipality. Jonker then appealed to the Council of State. This decided that the municipality never took a formal decision to collect personal data. Arnhem municipality continued with the address-based waste passes despite that ruling.
'AP should not have tolerated situation'
An enforcement request by Jonker to the Personal Data Authority then followed. That rejected the request on 20 April 2017, as the regulator felt there was a "special circumstance", given that the municipality had decided at the end of March 2017 to introduce DIFTAR (differentiated waste charge) from 1 January 2018. Jonker resubmitted the case to the court. This showed that the Personal Data Authority should not have tolerated the situation. The Authority is expected to take a new decision by the end of August. Until then, the containers will be accessible without a waste pass."
See also http://www.gelderlander.nl/arnhem-e-o/arnhemmer-kan-voorlopig-afval-weggooien-zonder-afvalpas~a4bd049f/,
http://www.arnhem-direct.nl/berichten/voorlopig-einde-discussie-privacy-afvalpas-ondergrondse-containers-gaan-open/, 24 July 2017.
For more background information, see https://www.privacyfirst.nl/aandachtsvelden/wetgeving/item/1081-gedoogbeleid-autoriteit-persoonsgegevens-rond-afvalpas-onder-vuur.html.