New lawsuit and urgent appeal for donations!
Privacy First has had a turbulent year. At the beginning of the year, we organised the Dutch Privacy Awards. We will present these awards again soon.
Biggest success this year, however, was the referendum won (with the initiators and many supporters) against the new Intelligence and Security Services Act (Sleep Act). Subsequently, however, the referendum was rock-bottom abolished and Privacy First et al unfortunately could not prevent the Sleep Act from coming into force almost unchanged. Unless the cabinet and Lower House will still thoroughly revise the Sleep Act, a large-scale new lawsuit against the Sleep Act lies ahead.
For Privacy First as an organisation, however, there were mostly positive developments this year. For example, since last summer we have had a new board, a new Advisory Board and a new and relatively inexpensive office(s) in an excellent location. For our telephony, Privacy First has now switched to the privacy-friendly telecoms provider Voys. Increasingly, Privacy First is being approached by governments and companies for joint privacy-projects, for example around the infamous European payments directive PSD2 that will soon come into force in the Netherlands. In addition, Privacy First conducts political lobbying and quiet diplomacy almost continuously. This year, for example, Privacy First successfully argued with the State Committee on the Parliamentary System for the introduction of a binding referendum and a Constitutional Court. We were also critically active around the possible introduction of Passenger Name Records (PNR) in aviation and Taser weapons at the police. After all, privacy is a broad concept and is about much more than mere data protection.
However, history shows that sustainable privacy protection often requires legal action at the national or European level. That is why Privacy First court cases. Those who have known us for some time know: when Privacy First starts a lawsuit, something is really up. Then a large-scale privacy breach is imminent and Privacy First needs to intervene. This is one such moment. Your support is indispensable.
Lawsuit against ANPR law
In recent years, Privacy First has regularly warned of the introduction of a new draconian Dutch law that will see the travel movements of millions of motorists continuously spend 4 weeks in a central police database, regardless of whether one is suspected of anything. This is the Automatic Number Plate Recognition Act (Automatic number plate recognition, ANPR). In late 2017, the Senate passed this law, after which Privacy First legal action in prospect. Privacy First then had a meeting with the national lawyer and then it remained quiet for a long time, but today the government still announced that the ANPR law will come into force on 1 January next. Privacy First is therefore now preparing summary proceedings to have this law set aside on the grounds of violation of the right to privacy. If necessary, wider proceedings on the merits will also follow these summary proceedings. After all, this new law constitutes a massive privacy violation and simply has no place in a free democratic constitutional state. Via Pro Bono Connect Privacy First has engaged the law firm CMS to conduct this case for us, ideally in coalition with other relevant organisations.
Urgent appeal for donations
Due to unexpected fundraising setbacks, Privacy First is currently in urgent need of financial support, including from you as a (potential) donor. The more support, the more thorough and therefore more effective we will be able to pursue this lawsuit and the greater the chance of a quick win in court. Donating to Privacy First can be done very easily via the donation page on our website, or directly by transferring money to NL95ABNA0495527521 in the name of Stichting Privacy First in Amsterdam, stating "donation". Privacy First is recognised by the tax authorities as an Institution for General Benefit (ANBI). Your donation to Privacy First is therefore tax deductible.
In previous years, Privacy First had a lot of positive impact thanks to your support. Privacy First is counting on your support this time too!
Privacy First wishes you happy holidays and a privacy-friendly 2019!