Privacy First demands anonymous payment for license plate parking
More and more Dutch municipalities are introducing license plate parking. Early this year won Privacy First chairman Bas Filippini filed a lawsuit over license plate parking against the municipality of Amsterdam. Since then, the introduction of a license plate for parking is no longer mandatory, as long as the parker can prove that he paid for the parking space. However, privacy-friendly parking requires more: anonymous parking requires anonymous payment methods. Today, the chairman of Privacy First is therefore starting a new legal procedure to enforce this in court.
Right to anonymous parking
Every citizen has the right to anonymity in public spaces. This right stems from the combination of two classic human rights: the right to privacy and freedom of movement. These rights are guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. This also applies to parking in a public location. When parking without the introduction of license plates, however, anonymity still does not exist in many municipalities: payment can often only be made by debit or credit card. For example, in the municipality of Amsterdam. Even if someone refuses to enter their license plate number due to privacy concerns, they can still be identified through the bank transaction.
Right to anonymous payment and cash as legal tender
In Privacy First's view, the right to anonymity in public spaces also includes the right to anonymous payment. In addition, cash is a legal tender: citizens have the right to be able to pay with it. Mandatory PIN payments violate both rights. This applies not only to license plate parking, but also in shops, restaurants, sports centres and other public places. In Privacy First's new lawsuit against license plate parking, chairman Bas Filippini wants the court to test this against European privacy law.
Rationale and purpose of the case
The reason for the case is a fine Filippini recently received after failing to pay for a parking space in Amsterdam. Indeed, he had wanted to pay, but could not do so without violating his right to privacy. This is because in Amsterdam, parkers can only pay by debit card, credit card or mobile app. This is in contrast to, for example, the municipality of Hoorn, where license plate parking has been introduced with the option of cash payment at the parking meter. Another possibility is the introduction of anonymous parking cards. The aim of Filippini's case is the introduction of anonymous payment options in Amsterdam, followed by the rest of the Netherlands. Indeed, like his earlier case against ticketing, the court's ruling will not only apply to Amsterdam, but to all Dutch municipalities that have introduced or plan to introduce ticketing.
Filippini will take the first step in the legal proceedings today by submitting a notice of objection to Amsterdam parking manager Cition BV. Should Cition not honour Filippini's objections and not introduce anonymous payment options, an appeal to the Amsterdam court will follow. Filippini has a strong case and is prepared to continue litigating on the matter all the way to the European Court of Human Rights. Filippini is represented in the case by his lawyer Benito Boer, who has already assisted him in the recent case Against compulsory introduction of license plates and the current issue Against section controls on motorways.
Click HERE for the objection as submitted to Cition today by Privacy First (pdf). To be continued!