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Privacy First considers lawsuit against camera system @migo-Boras

On Thursday morning, 23 August last. presented the Royal Military Police (KMar) the now infamous Dutch camera system @migo-Boras to the international press. That same afternoon, Privacy First Foundation in Amsterdam was visited by a camera crew from Associated Press (AP). Unfortunately, for copyright reasons, we cannot publish AP's video material. Vincent Böhre (Privacy First) told AP including the following:

"Our main concerns are about privacy, because this system is based on profiling and total surveillance of everybody driving on the highway. Our second objection is of course the Schengen agreement: this system really comes down to border control, even though they don't want to call it that way. But if you look at the capabilities of the system and the intentions behind it, it's pretty clear that it comes down to border control, and that's also what most lawyers say."

Below is the news release that AP then sent around the world:

"Amid privacy concerns, Dutch immigration minister shows off new border cameras targeting crime

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch immigration minister has shown off the government's new system of cameras posted at border crossings with Germany and Belgium that he says will help clamp down on crime like drug and people smuggling and illegal immigration.

However the new surveillance system has raised concerns among privacy activists.

The European Commission says that, based on information provided by Dutch authorities, the surveillance does not appear to breach the Schengen agreement governing freedom of movement within the 27-nation bloc and does not amount to a reintroduction of border controls.

However, the Commission says it will monitor the use of the cameras, which are posted at 15 highway border crossings. Immigration Minister Gerd Leers said Thursday the cameras are intended to help police target suspicious vehicles."
(Example: Montreal Gazette, via AP Worldstream)

The Privacy First Foundation is now considering taking legal action against @migo-Boras. This is because the system 1) still lacks a specific legal basis, 2) is not necessary, as it only "supports" the Mobile Security Surveillance of the KMar, 3) is disproportionate, as it is intended to detect a few at the expense of the privacy and freedom to travel of all, 4) persons are detained by the KMar on the basis of the illegal criterion "interesting" instead of the legal criterion of "reasonable suspicion of a criminal offence", 5) the effectiveness of the system has so far not been demonstrated, 6) everyone on border roads is considered a potential suspect by this system, 7) this has a discriminatory effect in practice, 8) the system is soon to be expanded to include 4 weeks of storage of everyone's travel movements by means of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), 9) the system design refers to "function creep (goal shift) by design" instead of "privacy by design" and 10) e.g. despite the verdict of the European Commission, this amounts to massive electronic border controls prohibited under the Schengen Convention.

See further items below:

Big Brother system puts motorist privacy aside (, Sept 10, 2012) 

Interview with Privacy First on camera system @migo-Boras (BNR News Radio, 1 Aug 2012)

You won't make friends with @migo-Boras (Privacy First, 5 January 2012)

Interview with Privacy First on new border control system @migo-boras (NOS Radio 1, Nov 30, 2011)

Interview with Privacy First on new border control system @migo-Boras (ZDF News Agency, Nov 25, 2011)

Click HERE for more news stories on @migo-Boras.