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Stib passenger wins court ruling over Mobib data collection

12:52 02/07/2020

A Brussels man has won a small legal victory against the Stib, after he challenged the requirement to scan a Mobib pass at the start of every journey.

Kaddour Sellika was fined €10 during a routine ticket check, because he did not validate his annual season ticket when boarding.

He refused to pay and the fine was increased to €100, prompting the Brussels public transport operator to file a legal claim with the justice of the peace in Forest.

Sellika challenged the case, arguing that Stib's requirement to validate every time, even when changing vehicles, amounted to an unnecessary collection of personal data.

Shortly before the hearing, Sellika said he was contacted by Stib to inform him that the fine would be waived.

But he still attended the hearing, without legal representation, and argued that the Stib had been in the wrong.

The justice of the peace ruled in Sellika's favour and told Stib to update its privacy policy to explain why it needs to collect such data.

The judge said: "The processing of journey data as it is currently carried out by Stib is not legal and it is right that, in the context of protecting his private data, Sellika refused to validate his subscription."

Sellika was awarded a symbolic €1 in damages. Stib said it would make the necessary changes to its privacy policy.

The operator said Mobib validation stats were an important way of measuring public transport use and the busiest lines, in order to make improvements in the future.

In other Stib news, public transport users in Brussels are now able to use their contactless bank card, smartphone or watch to buy a single-use ticket.

Metro ticket gates, buses and trams have been equipped with small grey contactless bank card readers similar to the existing Mobib machines.

The fare is €2.10, capped at €7.50 per day, the same price as a regular one-day pass. It is still cheaper to buy 10 journeys in bulk on a Mobib card, or a season ticket if you are a very regular traveller.

Written by The Bulletin