By its decision of July 26, 2017, the Dutch Supreme Court (Court) ruled that the Dutch tax authority is required to delete the personal data that it had obtained through Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras (ANPR data).

In 2014, the appellant requested the Dutch State Secretary of Finance (State Secretary) to delete the ANPR data relating to the appellant. The appellant argued that the tax authorities had no legal ground for processing its personal data, and that doing so constituted an infringement upon its right to privacy. The State Secretary argued that the ANPR data at subject did not constitute personal data as the license plate pertaining to the ANPR data was not registered under an individual human being, but under a company. Furthermore, it argued that the tax authorities did indeed have a legal ground in the relevant tax legislation for the processing of the ANPR data.

The Court found that because the ANPR data can easily be led back to the appellant, it does indeed qualify as personal data. It also found that whilst the tax authorities have been given the supervisory authority to levy government taxes, there is no clear and adequate legal ground that would justify the limitation to one’s right to privacy. Obtaining and saving the ANPR data is for example not required in the interest of public safety. Accordingly, the Court ordered the tax authorities to delete the ANPR data.

The full text of the Dutch Supreme Court’s decision can be found here (in Dutch only).