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Privacy First lawsuit against license plate parking

On Tuesday morning 11 November next, a unique court hearing will take place at the Amsterdam District Court: the case of Privacy First chairman Bas Filippini against license plate parking in Amsterdam.

At its core, the lawsuit revolves around two aspects in license plate parking that Privacy First Foundation considers unlawful: 1) mandatory registration of license plates and 2) lack of anonymous payment options. Both aspects violate the right to privacy due to lack of necessity and proportionality. Moreover, there is no privacy-friendly alternative.

The reason for the case is a parking fine Filippini received for not entering his license plate number in a parking meter. This is because mandatory entry of license plates when parking violates the right to privacy. After all, every free citizen has the right to privacy in the sense of anonymity in public spaces, even when parking somewhere. This right is protected by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

More and more Dutch municipalities are introducing license plate parking. The outcome of this case will therefore affect the parking policies of all Dutch municipalities.

Click HEREpdf for our appeal as we filed it with the Amsterdam District Court earlier this year (including our earlier objection and subsequent response from parking operator Cition, pdf). Click HEREpdf For the Amsterdam municipality's subsequent statement of defence (pdf).

Privacy First is represented in this case by Mr Benito Boer of Alt Kam Boer Lawyers in The Hague. This law firm also handles the cassation phase in our civil Passport Trial at the Supreme Court.

Our chairman's court case against the Amsterdam municipality is public: you are welcome to attend. Address: Amsterdam District Court, Parnassusweg 220. Date & time: Tuesday 11 November 2014, 9.00am. Case no: AMS 14/1512 Parkbl. We hope to see you there!

Update 12 November 2014: yesterday, the long-awaited court hearing finally took place. Speaking on behalf of the chairman of Privacy First, our lawyer Benito Boer; click HEREpdf for his plea (pdf). The municipality of Amsterdam was represented at the hearing by municipal tax inspector Bas Brekveld. Numerous principle aspects surrounding the case were discussed during the hearing, including storage periods and possible third-party access, anonymous payment options and privacy-friendly alternatives. The case received considerable media attention, including the Telegraph and Radio 1. RTL News was present with a camera crew during the hearing; click HERE For the item last night on the RTL News and HERE for other publications and interviews. The court verdict is tentatively scheduled for 23 December next. Privacy First hopes for a positive verdict!

Report RTL News, 11 November 2014 © RTL


Update 18 December 2014: the verdict of the Amsterdam court was postponed for 6 weeks today.

Update 30 January 2015: earlier than expected, the court ruled today and found in favour of our president! Parking does not require entering a license plate if it can be shown that the parking space has been paid for. The Parole and the Telegraph had the scoop. Click HERE for our news release and HERE for the entire verdict.