The court of appeal ruling on Tuesday said the powers in the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014, did not restrict the accessing of confidential personal phone and web browsing records to investigations of serious crime, and allowed police and other public bodies to authorise their own access without adequate oversight.
The Landtag in Baden-Württemberg was debating a draft anti-terror law which, inter alia, includes additional options to use video surveillance, lawful hacking and electronic tags for persons likely to threaten public security, making it one of the most restrictive anti-terror laws in Germany. The draft law was being criticized by the DPO of Baden-Württemberg: In particular, it remains unclear whether any of these measures would have an actual impact. Therefore, an evaluation clause should be included in the draft law.
The new Dutch surveillance law will be voted on in a non-legally binding referendum. On March 21 2018 the referendum will be held together with the municipal elections. A campaign demanding the referendum resulted in 384.000 valid signatures on a new law governing surveillance activities in the Netherlands. The law has already passed the two chambers of Dutch parliament and is bound to come into force during the first half of 2018. Nevertheless, the so-called “Dragnet law” (Sleepwet) was subject to a large and on-going public discussion. Despite the fact that a potential “no” to the law will not result in a formal withdrawal of the law, political pressure on the government to reconsider the bill would rise significantly.
In the Netherlands the use of facial recognition technologies for marketing and profiling purposes of customers seems to be increasing. According to the source, this is legally allowed in cases where costumers provide consent. The article highlights the mainstreaming of biometrical technologies. It is questionable if the general public agrees to the widespread use of such technologies and what the impact on societal interaction will be once the technologies have become ubiquitous.
Together with the airline KLM, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has started a trial with voluntary ‘biometric boarding’, involving boarding without having to show your boarding pass and passport. Passengers can board quickly and easily via a separate gate that identifies passengers using facial recognition. Schiphol and KLM are assessing facial recognition technology with this trial, testing the speed, reliability and user-friendliness of the system. The boarding process and passenger experience will also be evaluated. The ultimate goal is to make the boarding process as easy and quick as possible for passengers. The trial period will last at least three months.