Telegraph, 2 Aug 2013: 'Riot digital parking; Privacy First Foundation calls for written protest'
'The Privacy First foundation is calling on Amsterdam residents to send as many written protests against the license plate parking in the capital to Mayor Van der Laan.
The foundation has dedicated on its website (www.privacyfirst.nl) posted a model protest letter that can be used for this purpose. In this way, the foundation hopes to kill digital parking in Amsterdam.
Since 1 July, motorists in Amsterdam can only park digitally and thus no longer pay in cash. Moreover, they are obliged to enter the car's registration number. Parking inspectors only need to scan the license plate number to see whether it has been paid for or not.
"Surely it is ridiculous that you get fined if you have not entered your registration number but still paid. You fulfil all the obligations and still get penalised. In addition, we find it license plate parking a gross violation of the right to privacy as the municipality finds it no problem at all to share the parking data of us as citizens with other agencies such as, for instance, the tax authorities. As a foundation, we stand for the right to anonymity of every citizen who is not suspected of anything," Drs Bas Filippini of Privacy First explained the action.
It is also a thorn in the foundation's side that the municipality is removing all parking meters and electronic payment via mobile phone will soon be the only payment option. Filippini: "As citizens, we have the right to pay for parking services using legitimate means of payment that provide anonymity. Thus, when paying for my parking ticket, I am not required to identify myself, either through my license plate number, mobile phone number, bank account or otherwise. Neither does the government have any right to store license plate data, whether obtained from parking meters or cameras, other than to match against a checklist any license plates suspected with reason.''
Source: Telegraph, City section (Amsterdam), p. 1.