‘Dutch naive about privacy protection’

Many Dutch people are naive about protecting their privacy, the European Union’s privacy regulator Peter Hustinx said in a speech in Brussels at the weekend.

In most EU countries, between 80% and 90% of people are concerned about protecting their privacy and that percentage has increased over the past few years, Hustinx, a Dutchman, said.
But in the Netherlands, worries about privacy have gone down. Several years ago, 50% of the population was concerned about privacy issues but that has fallen to 35%, he said.
‘The Dutch often think it does not matter because they have nothing to hide,’ news agency ANP quoted him as saying. ‘But that is not the question. What matters is, does the system work well, without leaks and mistakes. But systems do not work as well as they should in a world which relies on internet.’
He pointed out that a large amount of information about ordinary citizens is now stored digitally, from bank accounts to travel movements, health and internet usage.
For example, biometric details are now standard in new passports but things go wrong in up to 3% of cases. This could lead to someone being refused access to an aircraft, for example, he said. ‘We are going to see more of this kind of case in the future.’

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