In a groundbreaking judgment, the Hague Court of Appeal has today decided that centralised storage of fingerprints under the Dutch Passport Act is unlawful. The Privacy First Foundation and 19 co-plaintiffs (Dutch citizens) had put forward this legal issue to the Court of Appeal in a so-called 'action of general interest' ("algemeen-belangactie"). In February 2011, the district court of The Hague had declared Privacy First inadmissible. Because of this, the district court couldn't address the merits of the case. The Court of Appeal has now declared Privacy First to be admissible after all and has quashed the judgment of the district court. Moreover, the Appeals Court deems centralised storage of fingerprints under the Dutch Passport Act to be unlawful since it violates the right to privacy. Therefore it…
By now basically everyone is aware of the far-reaching eavesdropping practices by the American National Security Agency (NSA). For years the NSA has been secretly eavesdropping on millions of people around the world, varying from ordinary citizens to journalists, politicians, attorneys, judges, scientists, CEOs, diplomats and even presidents and heads of State. In doing so, the NSA has completely ignored the territorial borders and laws of other countries, as we have learned from the revelations by Edward Snowden in the PRISM scandal. Instead of calling the Americans to order, secret services in other countries appear to be all too eager to make use of the intelligence that the NSA has unlawfully obtained. In this way national, European and international legislation that should…
The appeal by Privacy First and 19 citizens against the Dutch government takes place today. Privacy First is of the opinion that the new Dutch Passport Act violates the right to privacy. Despite criticism from the Dutch House of Representatives, the Dutch government recently decided to push this controversial law ahead. The case of Privacy First primarily concentrates on the centralised storage of fingerprints. This lawsuit is the first of its kind. ClarificationOn February 2, 2011, the Privacy First Foundation and 21 co-plaintiffs (citizens) were declared inadmissible by the district court of The Hague in our civil case against the Netherlands regarding the 2009 Dutch Passport Act. A proposal by the Dutch Minister of the Interior, Ms. Liesbeth Spies, to revise the Passport Act has…
On 2 February this year, the district court of The Hague gave its judgement in the civil lawsuit on the Dutch Passport Act which had been initiated by the Privacy First Foundation and 21 co-plaintiffs (citizens) against the Dutch government on 6 May 2010. The main request in this case is that the new Passport Act is to be declared unlawful on account of violating human rights, in particular the right to privacy. However, to the astonishment of many, the court declared both Privacy First as well as the 21 co-plaintiffs inadmissible. Hence the court didn’t proceed to the stage of dealing with the merits of the legal questions regarding the new Passport Act. A striking aspect about the judgement is, first of all, how…
In Privacy First’s civil lawsuit against the Dutch Passport Act there was a curious development yesterday, 2 February 2011: the district court of The Hague declared both Privacy First and its 21 co-plaintiffs inadmissible. Apart from the incomprehensible legal arguments behind this, the most striking aspect is how short the court's judgement is. Privacy First cannot help thinking that the court wanted to be done with this case quickly. The court motivates its judgement by declaring that Privacy First would not have an own interest in this case and that for the co-plaintiffs (citizens), the route to the administrative court would be all that remains. However, as a matter of fact, Privacy First as a relevant foundation has every interest in this case. What’s more, citizens…
Below is an extensive photo impression of the day of our Passport Trial at the Palace of Justice in The Hague. These pictures were taken by press photographer Guus Schoonewille of Fastfoto and can be used freely under the following title: "Privacy First Foundation, 29 November 2010, Trial against the new Passport Act. Photo: Guus Schoonewille". Click on the picture of your choice to see a larger version which you can download using your right mouse button.
Art photographer Maarten Tromp has made a beautiful photo series of the co-plaintiffs in our Passport Trial. Three of these photos are on the left and below in small size. A large number of pictures appeared on February 2, 2011 in Dutch newspaper NRC Next. The entire series of photographs can be seen on the website of Maarten Tromp.                                 
On this page you can find up-to-date information and documents relating to the civil lawsuit (Passport Trial, 'Paspoortproces') that Privacy First has lodged against the Dutch government which, in this case, is being represented by the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.   Current STATE OF AFFAIRS On 18 February 2014, Privacy First gained two important victories in the Passport trial: the Hague Court of Appeal declared Privacy First admissible after all and deemed the central storage of fingerprints under the Passport Act to be unlawful as it concerns a violation of the right to privacy; read our report about it and the whole ruling HERE. In May 2014, the Dutch government lodged an appeal at the Dutch Supreme…
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