Telegraph, 16 June 2015: 'License plate chip is like ankle bracelet'
“Privacy watchdog: System does not fit decent rule of law
A chip in every number plate, which the National Police is trialling, is an abomination in the eye of privacy watchdog Privacy First. Chairman Bas Filippini called such a 'spy chip' disproportionate and not fitting in a decent democratic constitutional state . The National Police is conducting a trial with so-called RFID chips in license plates. These are chips that communicate remotely via radio waves. For now, the project is being sold as a solution to identity fraud and crime with license plates, to get citizens 'on board'. But Privacy First compares the license plate chip to ankle bracelets for convicted criminals. According to the club, the system is far too large-scale to counter the annual fraud involving an estimated 40,000 license plates.
The system will allow identification, registration and permanent tracking of all citizens, including lawyers, journalists, politicians and activists. An extremely gross violation of privacy. A major danger is target shifting. Already now, the tax authorities, police and judiciary are looking into systems that were set up for an entirely different purpose, such as for parking garages and route controls.
If the chip is introduced, every motorist will be mandatorily given a remotely readable chip in their number plate that will be continuously read on public roads. All travel movements will thus be recorded.
The chip is connected to a wafer-thin antenna taped to the outside of the number plate, allowing the chip to communicate with readout stations over the roads. These transmit the data to RDW's computers. In a year's time, if the chips and antennas prove to work well, the system will be introduced. Even at extremely high speeds, the system would work well.
The Dutch Data Protection Authority is also very critical. Not only does the college strongly question the need, but also whether the chip can only be read by the government and cannot be misused by other parties.
Bas Filippini: At the same time, the European Parliament is preparing new regulations that will require not only a chip on the license plate but also a chip in the car itself. In the basic setup, more than 60 data will then be recorded and stored in a European database. The chip should enable immobilisation, a digital licence plate database and online licence application, a European MOT and will eventually be able to evolve into a European travel and residency rights and tax system."
Source: Telegraph 16 June 2015, p. 3. Also read the Telegraph's editorial commentary the same day, p. 2:
The National Police is experimenting with remotely readable chips in number plates, they say, as a means of combating number plate fraud. If it is up to the police (and the manufacturer of the chip), there will be a nationwide network of measuring portals so that all road users are monitored around the clock.
The unbridled drive by the State of the Netherlands to collect private data is leading to a society where people constantly feel they are under surveillance. When will that stop?
Annually, there would be 40,000 cases of licence plate fraud. Should the privacy of millions of Dutch motorists be invaded for this? Is there really no other system imaginable that is less invasive than constantly tracking and registering citizens on public roads via a chip?
By now, the government should also be aware of the risks of databases when it comes to security leaks, improper use and criminal manipulation. The spy chip is an outright threat to motorists' freedom and should never, ever be introduced!"