As the political privacy debate in The Hague is held in the framework of the review of the European Directive on the protection of personal data, Ms Sophie in 't Veld had been invited to accept the first copy of the book. Doing so she pleaded for international agreements to protect citizens against the harmful consequences of collecting digital data: "international standards have more effect than national laws". She also preferred that users can choose which data can be published and which not: Ï rather see an opt-in than an opt-out. Users have the right to know what happens with their data".
The book presentation also had a public debate. In the room were more than 120 people, many of whom are studying or dealing with privacy. many privacy subjects passed the review, indicating that the subject is hard to grasp and bring down to reality. Jeroen Terstegge, chairperson of the privacy committee of the Dutch employers association VNO-NCW, offered the concept of a protocol for international privacy similar to the Kyoto protocol, which was a United Nations attempt to unite countries in their efforts to attack the climate change. The link to the Kyoto protocol was clear for many people: "The real problem of the Electronic Patient Dossier, which is being proposed in the Netherlands, is not the collection of medical data, but the context of the data". But the reactions to the proposal solicited various ideas. One participant offered that that mega polluters will not stick to the protocol. Others wondered whether there will be unity, while there are various opinions about privacy. And someone else suggested: "The more data you have the greater the chaos, but more privacy", which led Mr Bas van Tol of the Police Rotterdam-Rijnmond to the statement: "The police have so many data, but the question is what you can do with them ".
An information flyer in the Dutch language can de downloaded from here.