Number plate cameras also used to scan motorists' faces: report
For the past five years, the police cameras along the Dutch highways were also used to photograph motorists' and passengers' faces even though there was no legal basis for doing so. The photos were used for investigative purposes, NRC reported based on an internal police report it gained access to.
This involves cameras in the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system. The system consists of some 300 cameras stationed along highways and provincial roads, which scan the license plates of passing vehicles so that motorists with outstanding fines, for example, can be pulled over by a cop.
About a fifth of the ANPR cameras are advanced cameras that take sharper photos and can also record the people inside the car, not just the number plate, according to the newspaper. And these cameras did just that, while the ANPR cameras are solely intended for "number plate recognition and there is mostly no legal basis for also recognizably showing people," NRC quoted the internal police report.
The police stopped using the cameras for investigative purposes on June 1 this year, the newspaper wrote. The Public Prosecution Service launched an investigation into this unauthorized use of the ANPR system. The photos will not be used for "criminal purposes" while the investigation is ongoing, the Prosecutor said to NRC.