Motorway section control

To preserve and strengthen the right to anonymity in public spaces, the chairman of Privacy First during the period 2015-2019 filed multiple lawsuits against section speed controls at highways.

Wooden court gavel

In section (average speed) control, all motorists on the motorway are tracked and stored for 72 hours in a police database, including for purposes other than traffic enforcement. This therefore concerns mostly innocent motorists who are not speeding. To date, however, section controls are, however, hardly regulated at all. Without a specific legal basis and privacy safeguards, section controls therefore constitute a massive, continuous violation of both the Dutch Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). For this reason, the chairman of Privacy First has waged several lawsuits since 2015 to have section controls critically reviewed. In May 2015 however, the Utrecht district court rejected the first case: the judge deemed the Dutch General Police Act and the signs along the highway to be "sufficient privacy safeguards." In early 2018, the Haarlem district court rejected a similar case litigated by Privacy First, followed by the Leeuwarden Court of Appeal in July 2019. The Leeuwarden Court, however, refused to test the section control system against the right to privacy. A complaint about this by Privacy First to the European Court of Human Rights was declared inadmissible in August 2020. Our series of lawsuits regarding section controls has since been ended. These cases were conducted low bono by Alt Kam Boer Attorneys.