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Telegraph, 25 June 2015: 'Bitter fight against spying government'

'Netherlands must become privacy leader country of the world'

The Netherlands must become the world's privacy leader. To this end, Stichting Privacy First (SPF) is developing a 'webware house' with products that can protect citizens from interfering agencies and companies. As a 'kind of software warehouse', SPF wants to offer possibilities to use data as anonymously as possible. By installing apps and programmes, smartphones, tablets or internet connections can be legally protected so that no digital traces are left behind when they are used, thus keeping controlling authorities and eager companies like Facebook, Google and WhatsApp at bay. Citizens can call, email and chat anonymously via such a secure app. This digital protection turns out to be badly needed because governments and companies store data they do not need at all, claims privacy watchdog chairman Bas Filippini.

We don't need to completely reinvent the wheel. There are already many good apps built, which we also include in our product range. Citizens can rest assured that we use only programmes that are 100 per cent safe. Our country is already leading the way in development of programmes. We should exploit that by profiling ourselves as a guide country in privacy with these kinds of legal digital services, Filippini believes.

Spy chip

The services are badly needed: SPF sees citizens' freedom being increasingly restricted. From black boxes in the car, theft prevention chips, compulsory dashcams, route monitoring to a network of police cameras. Recently, the club raised the alarm about a spy chip in the car number plate.

All to introduce total registration of citizens' travel behaviour. And new dangers are already presenting themselves, Filippini said. For instance, motorists are increasingly obliged to enter their license plates everywhere, for instance at car parks. Even if they simply pay to park their vehicle. Crazy. We will start a lawsuit against the storage of all license plates and all parking and travel data of citizens. Before it is introduced.

Earlier, the private advocacy group got fines off the table for people who bought cash parking tickets in Amsterdam but did not want to have their license plates stored. The foundation also ensured that the mandatory storage of all call and internet data was scrapped. In addition, the privacy watchdog pulled the longest straw in several court cases against the mandatory storage of fingerprints for passports.

It is pure necessity to protect your privacy. From 2018, all new cars will contain the E-call, a device that automatically calls the 112 switchboard in case of an accident. That seems nice and safe, but that chip in your car is picked up by mobile phone masts , says Filippini. In short, they constantly know where your car is. That data can be stored, if it is up to the supplier lobby, even across Europe.

Justice should be able to detect criminals early with data checks, the foundation acknowledges. Filippini: Call data of criminals used to be requested by police for detection. Fine. But now all citizens are constantly being monitored via their data real time followed. We will continue to fight against that."

Source: Telegraph 25 June 2015, p. 10. Also HERE available online and with reader comments on