Seznam: Cancelled CZK 400 million electronic vignette system included surveillance data gathering

03-02-2020

The tender on an online system of motorway vignette sales, cancelled by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš after IT specialists organised a hackathon where they designed a similar system free of charge, included a sophisticated surveillance system, online news site Seznam Zprávy reported on Monday. Seznam claims that the public data gathering system was agreed to by the Ministry of Transport in cooperation with the Czech secret services and police.

Former Transport Ministrer Vladimír Kremlík, who was sacked because of the overpriced tender, told Seznam that the system was supposed to be capable of photographing license plates and “logically, more than that”. He also admitted that a part of the proposed system was kept under secrecy.

The head of the Czech counterintelligence service refused to comment on the story, but last week the organisation’s spokesman Ladislav Šticha said that intelligence services’ access to data on vehicles and their owners was expected from the beginning and is supported by legislation. However, only in so far as accessing the license plates and vignettes registers.