Health Minister, secret service boss nominated for Big Brother Award

Health Minister Edith Schippers during Prinsjesdag, 2014 (photo: Rijksoverheid/Bas Arps)Health Minister Edith Schippers during Prinsjesdag, 2014 (photo: Rijksoverheid/Bas Arps)

Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health, head of intelligence service AIVD Rob Bertholee and chat-app WhatsApp are the three nominees for this year's Big Brother Awards. The Big Brother Award is annually awarded to the biggest privacy violator of the year by Bits of Freedom, reports.

Schippers was nominated because she "further eroded medical confidentiality", according to Bits of Freedom. The privacy organization is refering to a legislative proposal recently passed by parliament that gives health insurers more access to patient records. 

Bertholee was nominated because of a recent interview in the Volkskrant, in which he stated that he is tired of the privacy debate. He seemed to suggest that he wants a back door into the encryption of communication services like WhatsApp, because this would make it easier to eavesdrop on terrorists. "By restricting encryption all online users in the Netherlands become vulnerable to cyber criminals and foreign intelligence services", Bits of Freedom said about it.

WhatsApp was nominated because of its plans to share its user data with parent company Facebook, according to the privacy organization.

The public can vote on who should get the Bigh Brother Award until November 13th on the award site. The award ceremony will take place at the Amsterdam theater on November 14th. 

Last year Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs won the Big Brother Award for giving the intelligence services more powers.