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Your parking data is simply on the street in Rotterdam

Today the AD/Rotterdams Dagblad published a critical opinion piece by our chairman Bas Filippini on kentekenparkeren in Rotterdam. Below is the full text:

Your parking data is simply on the street in Rotterdam.

Paid parking should still be possible anonymously.

Rotterdam has been the country's biggest privacy violator since the introduction of license plate parking, argues Bas Filippini, chairman of the Privacy First foundation.

Without privacy, there is no free democracy. However, the right to privacy is under enormous pressure in the Netherlands. This right means, among other things, that every innocent citizen should be able to travel freely and anonymously in their own country. In public transport, this seems to have been abolished by now: compulsory checking in and out is the norm. Even on the streets and highways, cameras keep an eye on everyone. The latest development in the national registration drive is license plate parking: parking with mandatory entry of your license plate in a parking meter. More and more Dutch municipalities are threatening to introduce ticketing without any thought for privacy and without any alternative for citizens. The municipality of Rotterdam in particular is flouting all the rules in the process.

In Amsterdam, kentekenparkeren was introduced last year. A major uproar arose there when it emerged that the municipality kept everyone's parking data for seven years. That parking data was shared with the tax authorities, among others. After an outcry about this in the media and a large-scale protest action by Privacy First Foundation the Amsterdam city council decided to stop storing the data: since then, license plate data has been stored for 24 hours at most, and only wrong-way parkers remain in a database for 13 weeks in connection with possible objections and appeals. Other municipalities (including Hoorn) decided to follow the Amsterdam example: the data is stored encrypted and therefore cannot be used by third parties (such as the tax authorities). A fine example of 'Privacy by Design'! It is therefore a travesty that Rotterdam has decided to do exactly the opposite: everyone's parking data in a database for 7 years, freely retrievable by the Tax Office, police and judiciary. Where is the Rotterdam protest? What are the ladies and gentlemen politicians doing? Wait until everyone's parking data is on the street?


The positive steps taken by the Amsterdam municipality do not yet go far enough for Privacy First: since the beginning of this year, legal proceedings by yours truly against Amsterdam's parking policy have been ongoing. The subject of the lawsuit is a privacy-friendly alternative to license plate parking, for example parking box instead of license plate registration with the possibility of anonymous payment. This lawsuit will soon be heard before the Amsterdam District Court. In addition, Privacy First has asked the Dutch Data Protection Authority to scrutinise Rotterdam's parking policy. Privacy First views a critical verdict by the Amsterdam court with confidence. This verdict will also affect all other Dutch municipalities, including the biggest privacy violator: Rotterdam!

Source: AD/Rotterdams Dagblad, Saturday 27 September 2014.

AD/Rotterdams Dagblad 27 September 2014

Also read the article in AD/Rotterdams Dagblad of 20 August 2014: 'Stop retention of parker data‘.