The village football club will not face immediate privacy rule fines: minister

Small Dutch organisations do not have to fear immediate fines if their systems are not yet properly equipped to deal with new EU privacy legislation known as GDPR, justice minister Sander Dekker has told broadcaster NOS. The legislation which comes into effect on Friday, applies to every company and organisation which 'processes people's data' However, according to NOS, Dekker says that small organisations will not be immediately liable if they are not fully GDPR compliant. 'It is not the case that on May 26, inspectors will be on the doorstep of a village football club,' he said. 'But if big firms are mucking around and yours or my personal information becomes public, then they have a problem.' The new rules mean companies and organisations, including local sports clubs, have to be able to show what information they hold about private individuals and what they do with it. Compliance falls under the responsibility of the privacy watchdog Authoriteit Persoonsgegevens which said earlier this month it did not have enough funding to properly monitor GDPR. Dekker has said he will not make new funding available in the short term. Fines Fines for companies which break the law can amount up to €20m or 4% of annual turnover. Figures published by the small business association MKB Nederland earlier this month indicate that thousands of companies are not yet ready to introduce the new rules and 30% had not heard of it at all. The race to meet Friday's deadline has lead to email inboxes clogging up with mailing list messages urging people to confirm they still want to receive newsletters.  More >

Dutch gamers urged to back #myfirstblood

Computer games are often said to be bloodthirsty, but Dutch blood bank Sanquin has run a donor recruitment campaign targeting the players of online battle game League of Legends. Sanquin, which is privately owned, wanted to recruit more young men aged 18 to 35 and worked together with Riot Games, the makers popular game League of Legends, to drum up more support. It is the first time the Dutch League of Legends community has been mobilised by a social campaign, Sanquin says. ‘Are you the gamer who goes as far as possible to win? We do that at Sanquin too,’ the #myfirstblood website text states. ‘Together with our 340,000 donors, we save lives. Perhaps a member of your family or one of the hundred of thousands gamers in the Netherlands. Will you join our battle?’ Players who agreed to check whether they could give blood or not win an award - a Blood Moon ‘skin’ for the character Thresh – if they send a selfie of themselves at the Sanquin testing centre. So far, 300 new blood donors have been signed up, broadcaster NOS reported. League of Legends is one of the most popular online games in the world and is played by tens of millions of people every year. In the game, two teams of five characters attempt to wipe out the other’s base. The campaign, which has generated interest in Belgium and the US, runs until the end of this year. Sanquin says #myfirstblood has been prompted to target youngsters to ensure the continuity of blood donations.  More >

Plastic road opens in Zwolle

They call it re-cycling. The municipality of Zwolle today opens a trial 30m stretch of bike path made from reused plastic, in a project that hopes to speed up road building and give old bottles a second life. The PlasticRoad, made “from as much recycled plastic as possible” has been created by the businesses KWS, plastic pipe maker Wavin and Total oil and gas group and the pilot is being supported by Zwolle. The designers hope that the prefabricated road structure will be able to help prevent flooding, with a special hollow to hold water or carry cables, and last three times longer than traditional road structures. KWS announced the concept in 2015, with inventor Simon Jorritsma saying: “You see a bottle; we see a road.” A second trial road will be built in November in Overijssel province, reports the Telegraaf.  More >

Councils concerned about 'solar panel tax'

Municipalities have been urged not to penalise people who install solar panels on their roofs by raising the amount they have to pay in local property tax. The OZB, or onroerendezaakbelasting, is calculated as a percentage of the estimated value of the value of a property. The increasing popularity of solar energy in recent years has meant houses that generate their own energy are worth more, meaning higher tax bills. Auke Oldenbeuving, of the Christian Democrat group on Emmen council, is among those calling for the system to be reformed after one resident recently saw the value of his property increasedby an extra €3,000 a year as a result of having 20 solar panels on his property. That in turn boosted his property tax bill. 'We want people to make their homes more sustainable. We've even introduced an attractive loan facility for solar panels. We shouldn't be reclaiming it through the back door by imposing tax on it,' Oldenbeuving told AD. Other local authorities such as Haarlemmermeer, Capelle aan den IJssel and Delft have also sought clarification from officials about the way OZB is calculated.  More >