Winner Dutch Big Brother Awards 2007: 'You'

By EDRi · September 26, 2007

The Dutch Big Brother Award 2007 in the Individual category has been
awarded to the Dutch citizen. He is the biggest threat to privacy
according to the jury. Due to indifference – “I have nothing to hide” –
and lack of interest in what happens to their personal data, citizens
share responsibility for the disappearance of privacy in The
Netherlands. While Time magazine praised ‘You’ as person of the year,
the jury gives ‘You’ an award for your acceptance of far reaching
intrusions upon your privacy.

In the Corporate category the Dutch railroad service (NS) were the
winner. It has a dominant role in the implementation of a privacy
intruding smart card for public transportation. The system will collect,
keep and use personally identifiable data on all travel. The NS, the
national rail monopoly, penalise those who wish to travel anonymously.
The NS were present to receive the award. Five minutes later they
received a warning from guest speaker Jacob Kohnstamm, chair of Dutch
Data Protection Authority. He confirmed that their current privacy
policy is not in line with the data protection legislation. He promised
severe penalties if they introduce the system without changes to their
policy on the use of personal data.

De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the Dutch central bank, received the award
for government institutions. DNB looked the other way when it was
informed about the transfer of financial records to American authorities
through SWIFT. Following the discovery of the central bank’s knowledge,
DNB defended itself by stating that the privacy of Dutch citizens is not
one of its responsibilities.

The Electronic Child Dossier won in the Proposal category. The blind
trust of authorities that problems will be solved by registration of
personal data is shocking. To implement the Dossier, Youth and Families
Minister Rouvoet plans on establishing a centralised database of all
Dutch children. A file will be updated for every child until they reach
the age of nineteen. and the file will be kept for another 15 years
after that. The dataset is very broadly defined and will contain a wide
variety of medical and psychosocial data, including all sorts of
subjective opinions about children and their parents.

The Big Brother Awards put individuals, companies, government
institutions and proposals that violate privacy in the spotlight. The
jury announced the winners at the fifth Dutch Big Brother Awards
ceremony on 21 September 2007 in De Balie in Amsterdam. The jury
consisted of lawyer Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm, legal researcher and
advisor Bart Schermer, Professor of Computer Security Bart Jacobs,
Professor of Regulation & Technology Bert-Jaap Koops, Professor of Law &
Information Science Corien Prins and author Karin Spaink (Chair). The
Dutch Big Brother Awards are organised by Bits of Freedom.

Dutch Big Brother Awards 2007 (26.09.2007)

Centre for Culture and Politics De Balie

De Balie

De Nederlandse Spoorwegen

De Nederlandsche Bank

Ministry of Youth and Families

(Contribution by Joris van Hoboken – EDRI-member Bits of Freedom -Netherlands)