Volkskrant, 25 February 2017: 'Tax authorities wrong with trip control leased car driver'
“Supreme Court bans deployment of highway cameras
The Inland Revenue is not allowed to monitor the car use of lease drivers using cameras along the highway. The Supreme Court ruled that on Friday. The ruling makes it very difficult for the tax authorities to catch lease drivers lying about their car use.
The Supreme Court finds that the tax authorities' use of camera surveillance infringes too much on the private lives of those involved. Dutch law has no basis for using camera images for tax purposes. In doing so, the Supreme Court said, the Tax Authority is also violating the European Convention on Human Rights. According to the judgment, this is 'not about one or a few observations in the public space, but about the systematic collection, recording, processing and long-term storage of data on vehicle movements at various locations in the Netherlands'.
Vincent Böhre of Privacy First, a foundation that stands up for citizens' privacy, responded: 'The Tax Authority is flagrantly violating the law. As far as we are concerned, the Lower House will immediately return from recess to hold the government accountable.'
Böhre calls on all lease car drivers who have been issued with retrospective levies to lodge an objection. The Ministry of Finance informs that only additional charges that have not yet been irrevocably determined are eligible for objection. How much this ruling will cost the treasury is not known. The Personal Data Authority, which already questioned the tax authorities' investigative methods in 2014, calls the ruling "both clear and unequivocal."
Source: Volkskrant, Saturday 25 February 2017, p. 10.