Amsterdam's prostitution policy violates privacy law: court

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Amsterdam's policy that prostitutes must share personal information with brothel owners, is in violation of the Personal Data Protection Act, the court in Amsterdam ruled in a case filed by 10 window brothels against the municipality, reports.

The court was dissatisfied with Amsterdam's policy on various points, especially on the intake conversation brothel operators have to have with prostitutes before they start working there. The municipality made this intake conversation obligatory in 2013, with the idea that operators will notice signals of human trafficking during the talk.

But according to the court, this is not having the desired effect as brothel operators are not trained to recognize such signals. The intake forms also contain information about the sexual life of the sex worker and operators must store these forms and present them during inspections. That is in violation of the Personal Data Protection Act, the court ruled.

In addition, a recent report showed that sex workers have a bad legal position in relation to brothel operators. The court therefore found it strange that sex workers are forced to share their personal information with the operator. 

A spokesperson for Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said to Het Parool that the municipality hasn't received the verdict yet. "When we receive it, we will look into the possibllities."