Panopticon and Why You Should Care About Your Privacy

Last night I watched the Dutch documentary Panopticon which explores our privacy in the Netherlands. Peter Vlemmix made an excellent film. Do take your time to watch it below or directly on Vimeo:


Vlemmix deftly shows that many people in the Netherlands think they have “nothing to hide”, while living in a society which is increasing the level of control and eroding their privacy. Even though I follow this topic actively, the film still managed to upset me. I didn’t know that the trams in Rotterdam do facial recognition or that psychiatrists have to list the diagnosis of their patients in a centralized repository (see this Dutch article, and these Dutch sites of psychiatrists battling this DBC).

Watching the film made me angry and worried. How much further before the police will start pro-actively arresting people for what they might do even before they do it, the infamous pre-crime?. The technology is already capable.

It was interesting to see how Germany, with its Nazi and Stasi history, has much more awareness of the dangers of storing too much data. They refuse to implement the EU’s data retention policy for example.

As you can see, there is ample need for a strong Dutch voice protecting your privacy. Bits of Freedom is doing a great job defending your digital rights.

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