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Webwereld, 15 Oct 2013: Privacy First provokes cases against license plate registration

Trajectory control and mandatory registration with license plate when parking violates the law, argues Privacy First foundation, which is filing several lawsuits.

Privacy First is trying through the courts to reverse both the route control via automatic license plate recognition and license plate parking. Chairman Bas Filippini refused to enter his license plate when parking in Amsterdam and is now appealing against the fine. He calls on Amsterdam residents to follow his example.

He also deliberately provoked a fine on the A2, where automatic section control has recently been introduced. He is also fighting that fine in court.

Database did clear

Amsterdam has introduced license plate parking since the summer. This data is stored in a central database the National Parking Register, which can also be accessed by, for example, the Tax Office.

After protests, the municipality has already recently changed its policy significantly. The data is now deleted within 24 hours, only in the case of caught wrongly parking, the data is kept for 13 weeks due to possible appeal procedures.

There is an alternative

For Privacy First, however, these concessions are insufficient; the license plate registration system itself must go, as there are more privacy-friendly alternatives. Such as parking space registration, this is used in France, among other countries, says Vincent Böhre, director of the foundation. Privacy First also agitates against phasing out physical pay machines where cash can be used to pay for parking.

According to the action group, there is no pressing need and proportionality for the current system of ticketing parking. "A privacy-friendly alternative is available, so the municipality has not met the legal requirement of subsidiarity."

'Everyone suspicious due to delusions of control'

Even with recently introduced route controls on several highways, using automatic license plate recognition and a central database, the government has gone overboard, argues Privacy First chairman Filippini. "This is a matter of principle. "Do we want a society where you can make your own choice in freedom, or do we want a society where everyone is basically suspect and permanently tracked and monitored."

According to Filippini, it does make sense to make a fist against "the government's control frenzy". Indeed, he says, many decisions have been taken hastily and under pressure from lobbying companies, to whom implementation is then outsourced."