Winner Dutch Big Brother Awards 2007: ‘You’[26.09.2007]
The Dutch Big Brother Award 2007 in the Individual category has been awarded to the Dutch citizen. He is the biggest threat to privacy according to the jury. Due to indifference – “I have nothing to hide” – and lack of interest in what happens to their personal data, citizens share responsibility for the disappearance of privacy in The Netherlands. While Time magazine praised ‘You’ as person of the year, the jury gives ‘You’ an award for your acceptance of far reaching intrusions upon your privacy.
De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the Dutch central bank, received the award for government institutions. DNB looked the other way when it was informed about the transfer of financial records to American authorities through SWIFT. Following the discovery of the central bank’s knowledge, DNB defended itself by stating that the privacy of Dutch citizens is not one of its responsibilities.
The Electronic Child Dossier won in the Proposal category. The blind trust of authorities that problems will be solved by registration of personal data is shocking. To implement the Dossier, Youth and Families Minister Rouvoet plans on establishing a centralized database of all Dutch children. A file will be updated for every child until they reach the age of nineteen. and the file will be kept for another 15 years after that. The dataset is very broadly defined and will contain a wide variety of medical and psychosocial data, including all sorts of subjective opinions about children and their parents.
The Big Brother Awards put individuals, companies, government institutions and proposals that violate privacy in the spotlight. The jury announced the winners at the fifth Dutch Big Brother Awards ceremony on 21 September 2007 in De Balie in Amsterdam. The jury consisted of lawyer Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm, legal researcher and advisor Bart Schermer, Professor of Computer Security Bart Jacobs, Professor of Regulation & Technology Bert-Jaap Koops, Professor of Law & Information Science Corien Prins and author Karin Spaink (Chair). The Dutch Big Brother Awards are organized by Bits of Freedom.
Center for Culture and Politics De Balie
De Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS)
De Nederlandsche Bank
Ministry of Youth and Families
Big Brother Awards 2007[12.09.2007]
The Belastingdienst, NS, minister Rouvoet, Google, De Nederlandsche Bank, Schiphol, Maurice de Hond, Mark Rutte, the proposals for implemantation of the data retention directive, the plans for an Electronic Child Dossier, the proposals for new powers for the AIVD and the PNR Data Agreement are nominated by the jury for a Big Brother Award 2007.
With the Big Brother Award every year people, companies, government institutions and proposals are put in the spotlight for promoting privacy violations.
In each category the jury will announce a winner during a public event on 21 September 2007, 20:00, De Balie, Amsterdam, with guests Jacob Kohnstamm, Justine Pardoen en Sophie in’t Veld. It is the fifth time a Big Brother Awards ceremony is being held in The Netherlands.
The jury consisted of lawyer Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm, legal researcher and advisor Bart Schermer, professor computer security Bart Jacobs, professor regulation and technology Bert-Jaap Koops, professor law and information science Corien Prins en author Karin Spaink (chair). The Big Brother Awards are organised by Bits of Freedom, a Dutch NGO devoted to the defence of digital civil rights.
Big Brother Award for Dutch immigration
Minister Rita Verdonk for Integration and Immigration
has won a negative Big Brother Award during the Dutch
awards ceremony on 28 January 2006 in De Melkweg in
Amsterdam. With the Big Brother Award every year
people, companies, government institutions and
proposals are put in the spotlight for promoting
Minister Verdonk is awarded the price because she
handed-over the status of asylum seeker of rejected
applicants to their country of origin, denied it
repeatedly in parliament and later minimised the
impact of this information. Though much media
attention was devoted to the credibility of the
minister, the gravity of the privacy violation
remained underexposed, according to the jury. The
information about their attempt to seek asylum might
very well cause life threatening situations for the
applicants in their country of origin. Thus the case
provides a perfect illustration how important privacy
is for the security of people.
Verdonk beat the Dutch minister of Finance Mr. Zalm
and crime reporter Peter R. de Vries. Zalm was
nominated for his recent proposal to give banks and
other financial service providers access to the
population register data behind the new 'citizen
service number', even before the law introducing this
number is passed by both houses of parliament. The
crime reporter and almost politician Peter R. de
Vries was singled out for proposing a database with
DNA cell-material of all inhabitants of the
Netherlands. De Vries was well underway to head a
possibly very big new political party in the
Netherlands, but demanded 41% of the electorate would
support his party in advance. In December 2005, he
reached 'only' 31 percent and ended the party
Sony BMG has won the award in the category Companies.
The company installed spyware on 2.6 million audio
cds, intended as copyright protection. When the
rootkit was discovered, the company issued a patch.
But that made matters even worse. People interested
in the patch had to provide many personal details and
after the installation the patch secretly set up
encrypted communication with Sony BMG. Sony beat
Translink, the consortium behind the new public
transport chipcard and Brein, the Dutch anti-piracy
group. With this award, the jury wants to signal a
growing misbalance between copyright and freedom of
In the category government institutions, the Flevo
hospital earned an award with very poor security of
personal data about patients. Subsidised amongst
others by the European Commission, the hospital
embarked on a project to disclose appointments with
patients via the Internet, but failed to put adequate
access control into place. In the category
'proposals', the government idea is crowned to put a
central database into place with biometric data, data
every Dutchman will have to provide soon to obtain a
new passport. From August 2006 a picture will be
included on the chip, later on fingerprints of both
index fingers will be added. The jury is deeply
concerned about the surveillance possibilities of
such a central database, for example when facial
recognition tools are linked to the omnipresent
For the first time in the 4 years that BBAs have been
organised in the Netherlands, the jury decided to
present a positive award. The Winston Award, named
after the protagonist of Orwell's 1984, was given to
Prof. Mr. Hans Franken, professor in Law and
Information Science at the University of Leiden and
member of the Senate for the christian-democrat
party. Franken earned the Winston Award with his
consistent resistance in the Senate against mandatory
The jury consisted of lawyer Christiaan Alberdingk
Thijm, journalist Arjan Dasselaar, professor computer
security Bart Jacobs, professor regulation and
technology Bert-Jaap Koops, professor law and
information science Corien Prins en author Karin
Spaink (chairwoman). The ceremony was organised by
Bits of Freedom, a Dutch NGO devoted to the defence
of digital civil rights. The Dutch ceremony is part
of a large international network, that started with a
ceremony in 1998 in the UK.