Lawyer Khadija Bozia goes to court on behalf of the victims with a request to change their social security number (BSN). According to the lawyer, this personal identification number plays a crucial role in the problems that her clients have with (government) agencies.
Secretary of State Alexandra van Huffelen believes that victims should be able to start with a ‘clean slate. ‘ According to Bozia, this cannot be linked as long as the victims, and their children, to ‘contaminated’ numbers that continue to live in systems of instances, even if all debts have disappeared.
Bozia asks the Cabinet to give ‘government casualties the right to change their BSN if they wish. “If we win this case, it can also be considered jurisprudence for citizens who have otherwise become victims of government system errors.”
One of her clients who want to change their BSN is Derya Selvi: “I am now unjustly a fraudster in all government systems, and it turns out to be difficult to get this out. For example, I am denied for debt relief and my children are also listed as potential fraudsters. I want to clear my name in this way.”
The social security numbers of the children of the victims are listed, because they have to be passed on in order to receive the childcare allowance.
Lawyer Bozia: “The bleed on the BSN is not only in the Tax Administration, but also in DUO, municipalities and debt relief projects. The question is whether this smear will still be found in the systems in ten or twenty years’ time. Could someone, for example, work in the government?”
Is it possible?
“ Special is the request for sure”, says lawyer Andre Moerman, of the website Schuldinfo.nl. “I understand the need as well. I wonder if it‘s possible. Changing a social security number is possible in case of identity theft. Ethnic profiling makes a social security number a kind of ‘infected‘, which makes it perhaps comparable to the consequences of identity theft.”
Privacy and tech lawyer Anton Ekker deals with the relationship between algorithms and profiling. He doubts whether changing the social security number is the solution for the victims: “The government has countless identity characteristics of every citizen in its collection, from those characteristics you can still tell who you are. There should be an awful lot of databases.”
Redmar Wolf, professor of tax law at the University of Groningen, confirms that it is difficult to change your social security number. He was involved in the report on the change of the VAT ID, which was originally incorporated in the case of sole proprietors’ business. “Technically, it seems almost impracticable. Whether the question of modification is understandable is another matter.”
“ It is precisely that it is so difficult to change things about BSN confirms my point: the victims and their children are going to be difficult to get rid of this error,” says lawyer Bozia. She expects the trial to take place next week.