BIT calls on minister for vision on privacy protection

BIT calls on minister for vision on privacy protection

07-04-2015 09:35:43

A coalition of 32 organisations, businesses and individuals call on Ard van der Steur, Minister of Security and Justice, to develop a vision on the privacy protection of citizens in the information society, then a public debate to facilitate it and, until that time, to suspend laws that lead to citizens being followed without a specific and concrete reason for suspicion.

At a standstill
Technological developments have made it possible to implement measures that, up until recently, were unfeasible due to natural thresholds. The result is that an increasing number of resources are being proposed, which do not comply with our constitutional principles, for a series of legitimate purposes. There has never been a fundamental discussion about this.

In the relation between citizens and the government, parliament has been introducing such measures more and more, which results in citizens being followed by collecting large amounts of data about them. The implementation of these measures then leaves much to be desired. Proportionality and subsidiary of a measure are not sufficiently tested, monitoring is often not independent and sufficiently secure and the group of people whose data is being used is often too large. The latter was confirmed by a recent decision of the court where the Law for Data Retention was immediately removed.

Moratorium bills
Until the vision has been established and the debate has taken place, bills that touch on this issue should not be handled. The suspension should at least concern the following laws: the bills on the retention of telecom data, the proposition to keep records on who is driving where (ANPR), the massive and undirected internet tap for secret services (extension Wiv), the hacking competence of the police as stated in the Act Cybercrime III, the revision of the confidentiality of mail in article 13 of the Constitution and the bills on protection of sources with free news gathering.

The coalition of signatories of the letter consists of Bits of Freedom, Amnesty Netherlands, Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ), Dutch Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers (NVSA), Hivos, Association of Investigative Journalists (VVOJ), Free Press Unlimited, Prakken d'Oliveira, Open State Foundation, BIT, Foundation Digital Infrastructure Netherlands (DINL), Voys, Waag Society, Publeaks, Kennisland, Internet Society Netherlands (, Privacy Barometer, Privacy First, bureau Brandeis, SETUP, NIco van Eijk, Beate Roessler, Bart Jacobs, Egbert Dommering, Mireille Hildebrandt, Erik Huizer, Jaap-Henk Hoepman, Karin Spaink, Ot van Daalen, Otto Volgenant, Bart de Koning, Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius.

This group is still growing. At, anyone who shares these concerns can also sign the appeal.