NRC Handelsblad, 12 February 2015: 'License plate parking can be done without entering license plate number'
"Another uproar over Amsterdam's parking policy. It was not the implausible number of disabled parking spaces on the canals, or the rising rates, but the question of whether the compulsory introduction of a license plate infringes on the privacy of the parker that took centre stage last week.
Bas Filippini, chairman of the Privacy First foundation, had been campaigning against the 'license plate parking' introduced by the municipality for some time. In October 2013, he decided on an act of principle: he parked his car, paid a parking fee, but did not enter his license plate number at the ticket machine. He challenged the parking fine he received. According to him, registering and storing his license plate number was an unjustified violation of his right to private life (art. 8 ECHR). The municipality argued that, according to the regulation, every parker is obliged to provide his license plate number. If the license plate number is missing, then no valid payment has been made.
Last week, the Amsterdam court ruled. The inspector who does not find a license plate number in the system may assume that no payment has been made and impose a fine, but the parking customer may in turn prove that he did pay. This can also be done with bank statements and receipts, the court finds. If payment has indeed been made, the fine will be cancelled. So anyone parking in Amsterdam is no longer obliged to enter their license plate number, provided they can prove that they have paid and are willing to go through an objection and appeal procedure to do so.
Much to Filippini's chagrin, the judge did not devote a word to the privacy issue itself. He has since launched a "national objection campaign" against license plate parking and hopes that Amsterdam residents will make things difficult for the municipality by refusing to enter their license plates on a large scale. Perhaps more something for privacy guardians with a long breath."
Source: NRC Handelsblad 12 February 2015, Economy & Law section.