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Privacy First challenges license plate parking at Amsterdam Court of Appeal

Supreme Court clears way for abolition of license plate parking

Recently certain the Supreme Court that the Tax Authority has been unlawfully collecting the location data of all motorists in the Netherlands for years. The Tax Authority does this through a large network of ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Registration) cameras along Dutch motorways. However, according to the Supreme Court, there is no legal basis for this. As such, this practice by the Tax Authority constitutes a massive, continuous violation of privacy.

Even at the local level, motorists' travel behaviour has been illegally monitored for years: through license plate parking, the municipal tax authorities have full insight into who parks where and when. But here too, a specific legal basis as required by the Dutch Constitution and art. 8 ECHR (the right to privacy) is lacking. Thereby, license plate parking also constitutes a massive privacy violation.

Introduction number plate not mandatory

Early 2015 won Privacy First its first court case against license plate parking: since then, motorists have no longer been required to enter their license plates when parking. In early 2016, this verdict confirmed by the Supreme Court. License plate parking was thus permanently called into question. "The Supreme Court is clear: compulsory introduction of license plates should not be allowed. License plate parking should therefore be abolished", said our lawyer Benito Boer. In September 2016, a summary proceedings by Privacy First to allow anonymous parking without the introduction of the license plate and with anonymous payment option. However, in an incomprehensible ruling, the court dismissed the case, after which Privacy First filed an accelerated appeal (urgent appeal) with the Amsterdam Court of Appeal.

Changed texts on parking meters

Under pressure from our appeal, the municipality of Amsterdam recently changed the texts on all parking meters: entering the license plate is now no longer "mandatory", but only "desired". However, those who do not enter a license plate number will still receive a parking fine, which will only be cancelled after an objection (with proof of payment). "So this is how you as a well-intentioned citizen are still punished if you want to be able to park anonymously. It's Kafka", said Privacy First chairman Bas Filippini.

Court hearing at Amsterdam Court of Appeal

Privacy First hereby cordially invites you to attend the public court hearing. It will take place on Thursday morning 16 March at 9.30am at the Amsterdam Court of Appeal: Case L.T.C. Filippini vs. municipality of Amsterdam, case no. 200.200.643/01. Address: Palace of Justice, IJdok 20, Amsterdam. Click HERE for directions.


When parking near the court, you are free to enter a creative text instead of your license plate number and share a photo of it with us (for example, via Twitter). The best entry will receive a gift from us!

Update 16 March 2017: the court hearing this morning went smoothly. Click HERE for our lawyer Benito Boer's pleading note (pdf). The court's ruling is tentatively scheduled for 2 May next.

Would you like to support us in pursuing this lawsuit? Then make a donation to Privacy First o.v.v. "privacyparking" in the name of Stichting Privacy First in Amsterdam, IBAN: NL95ABNA0495527521.

Update 2 May 2017: this morning, the Amsterdam court postponed the ruling until Tuesday 16 May.