Anonymity and the Law in the Netherlands

LESSONS FROM THE IDENTITY TRAIL: ANONYMITY, PRIVACY AND IDENTITY IN A NETWORKED SOCIETY, I. Kerr, V. Steeves, C. Lucock, eds., pp. 503-521, Oxford University Press, 2009

20 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009  

Simone van der Hof

Leiden University - Leiden Law School

Bert-Jaap Koops

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)

Ronald E. Leenes

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society; Tilburg Law School

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Anonymity is important in current society. The feeling that anonymity is disappearing has raised the question of whether a right to anonymity exists or whether such a right should be created. In this chapter, a contribution to ‘Lessons From the Identity Trail’ on anonymity, privacy and identity in a networked society, we address this question from a Dutch legal perspective. It provides an overview of relevant areas in Dutch law where a right to anonymity may be found, construed, or contested: in constitutional law, in criminal law, and in private law. We also discuss anonymity in public spaces and the anonymity in citizen-government relationships: service delivery, e-voting, anonymized case-law, and naming and shaming. Finally, we draw conclusions regarding the right to anonymity in current Dutch law. This right turns out to be only piecemeal, and rather weak. We conclude with a reflection on these conclusions: should a right to anonymity – or, at least, a more powerful right than the current one – be created in Dutch law?

Keywords: anonymity, the Netherlands, constitutional law, criminal law, e-government

JEL Classification: K10, K12, K14, K41

Suggested Citation

van der Hof, Simone and Koops, Bert-Jaap and Leenes, Ronald E., Anonymity and the Law in the Netherlands (2009). LESSONS FROM THE IDENTITY TRAIL: ANONYMITY, PRIVACY AND IDENTITY IN A NETWORKED SOCIETY, I. Kerr, V. Steeves, C. Lucock, eds., pp. 503-521, Oxford University Press, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1447332

Simone Van der Hof (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.linkedin.com/vanderhof

Bert-Jaap Koops

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

Ronald E. Leenes

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society

NL-5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands

Tilburg Law School ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

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