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RTL News, 4 April 2015: 'Route checks violate privacy rules'

This month, the court will consider the legality of route controls on motorways. The case was brought by Privacy First. That foundation believes that the route controls invade citizens' privacy and has therefore sued the state.

Anyone passing a section control system is registered, even if you stick to the speed limit. The question now is whether this is allowed under Dutch law. Bas Filippini, chairman of the Privacy First foundation, thinks not.

To get the case to court, Filippini drove deliberately too fast on the A2 a while back. He is now using the fine he subsequently received to sue the state. "I feel like people are constantly looking over my shoulders and I don't know what happens to the data," he told RTL News.

Who controls route control?
His lawyer Benito Boer thinks he has a good chance. To be allowed to film everyone, and not just roadpirates, he says there needs to be a clear law stating what the government does with your data and how long it is kept. "What happens to the data and who controls it? Those are very important questions that need to be answered in a law, but that law is not there now."

For some time now, in addition, the Inland Revenue has been using cameras to use the data to track tax evaders. That too is going too far, Filippini believes. "I would like to know from the judge how far we should continue with this madness to film and record every bit of public space in the Netherlands."

Out of control
Even former public prosecutor Koos Spee, who once stood at the cradle of route controls, thinks surveillance has gotten out of hand. Too bad, he thinks, because the cameras have made our roads much safer.

"In the beginning, when we just had these systems, then the data was kept for a maximum of three days and then discarded. But at some point, the Inland Revenue and the police started using cameras to detect crime. The data is kept longer and longer, including the data of people who have not been speeding."

The prosecution does not want to comment on the substance of the case because the judge has yet to rule on the case. The trial is on Tuesday, 28 April."

Source:, 4 April 2015