Parool.nl, 30 January 2015: 'Municipality not happy with judge's ruling on entering license plate'
“The municipality of Amsterdam is no longer allowed to issue fines to parkers who have entered their license plates incorrectly in the parking meter, but can prove that they have paid. The court ruled that today.
The lawsuit had been filed by Bas Filippini, chairman of the Privacy First foundation. He deliberately did not enter his license plate number, which resulted in a fine. He challenged that - as it turns out, successfully - in court.
According to the municipality, parking without proper entry of the license plate is the same as unpaid parking. The court disagrees. 'While the fact that an inspector did not observe payment is in itself sufficient evidence of non-payment, the parker can then provide contrary evidence of payment in various ways.'
Lawyer Benito Boer, who assisted Filippini in the case, is happy with the ruling. 'The citizens have won, because they no longer have to compulsorily enter a license plate.'
The privacy organisation's biggest objection to license plate parking is that citizens everywhere can be tracked by the municipality. 'And who says that this data cannot be easily accessed by employees within the municipality?' argues Boer.
The organisation also fears that investigative agencies will use the data in their investigations into criminals. 'If an ecstasy lab is broken up somewhere in a street, the municipality can find out who, apart from the residents, often visits there. Suppose my mother lives there and I visit often, then suddenly I am part of an investigation into drug criminals.'
The municipality is not happy with the judge's ruling, says a spokesman for traffic department DIVV. The service is considering going to the Council of State, but says this is still being studied. Whether the ruling is a bomb under the parking policy is 'hard to say' she says. 'About the consequences of this I dare not make any statements.'"