‘Americans frustrate privacy protection in the Netherlands’

16 September 2011

‘Americans frustrate privacy protection in the Netherlands’

SP Member of Parliament Ronald van Raak is trying to stop American firms from passing on sensitive data regarding Dutch citizens to the US government. Corporations such as Microsoft and Google are now forced to hand over such data, even if the Netherlands’ authorities object. The information involved concerns such matters as bank account details and other financial data, passenger and journey details, but also telecommunications data. In putting Information and Communications Technology (ICT) projects out to tender, the Dutch authorities should exclude ICT-providers who are under pressure from the US government.

Ronald van Raak“In the Netherlands we take all sorts of measures to protect the privacy of our citizens,” says Van Raak. “This doesn’t make any sense if ICT corporations are going to hand privacy-sensitive data over to the American police, judiciary and security services. We must be able to protect our own citizens. Interference from the Americans could have major consequences. In the US, for example, our data could be used for ‘data mining’, a form of research which the Dutch government rejects, but which in America forms the basis for the construction of a list of potential terrorists, a list which includes between 500,000 and a million people. The Netherlands should be making agreements with the United States at European level regarding the protection of our citizens. Until the United States is prepared to enter into such agreements the Dutch authorities should not conclude any contracts with American firms.’

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