A broad coalition of privacy advocates has sent an open letter to the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice today, asking to suspend any activity on bills that: ‘lead to tracking of citizens without any specific and concrete suspicion against them,’ until the government has developed a ‘vision’ about privacy protection of citizens in the Dutch information society. This vision should then be the subject of a public debate facilitated by the Dutch Government, so that the Dutch people may have the fundamental discussion about privacy and technological development it never had. Preferably the debate would be held not only in Parliament, but also outside of Parliament.
The current bills of which they would like to see legislative action suspended until the public debate has taken place are:
This open letter is signed by a large group of privacy researchers, interest groups and groups such as Amnesty International (Netherlands), Bits of Freedom (the Dutch equivalent of the EFF), Dutch Association of Criminal Lawyers, Dutch Association of Journalists, Privacy First Foundation and many others. There is also a website where individuals may sign the letter.
Some of the aforementioned groups were also a party to the recent interim proceedings in which the Dutch Data Retention Act was struck down, (for more on that see our earlier post, with a translation of the ruling attached).
We will update this post with the response of the Government.
Read the open letter in Dutch here.