Amsterdam police used city surveillance cameras without privacy checks: Trouw


Amsterdam police have for years been using city council surveillance cameras installed to monitor the city centre environmental zone to check for stolen cars and in criminal investigations, Trouw reported on Wednesday.

The city has 53 cameras with number plate recognition technology across main roads, which were installed in 2009. Now they are ready to be replaced, officials decided to assess if the police access – first granted in 2013 for the inauguration of king Willem-Alexander – is compliant with privacy legislation.

An independent report, debated by councillors at the end of September, shows that police never handed in a proper plan arguing why they should be given access. Nor is it clear how the information is given to police and how long they keep it, Trouw said.

Police have been given three months to meet the legal requirements or the agreement will be torn up, Trouw said.

In January, police confirmed they have added some 40,000 private security camerasĀ  to the police surveillance network since September 2017, taking the total nationwide to 200,000.

The cameras, owned by private individuals and companies, are registered with the police Camera in Beeld network and can be accessed by officials if there has been an incident.

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