EU: Data retention – an up-to-date summary

In a few weeks Swedish national data retention laws (based on the EU data retention directive) will be tested in an administrative mid-level court. This is only one of many court appeals in the EU on the subject. Former Pirate MEP Amelia Andersdotter has made a time line (link, in Swedish »).

In the following countries data retention has been rejected by court: Lithuania, Bulgaria (several times), Romania (several times), Germany, Ireland (several times), Cyprus, Czech Republic, Austria, Finland (political decision), Slovakia, Slovenia and The Netherlands. Then there are some open court cases.

In April last year, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) invalidated the EU directive on data retention – for breach of human rights. And recently, the European Commission has declared that there will be no new directive.

It’s also worth noticing criticism against data retention from the EU Council lawyers, Germanys minister of justice, the EU Data Protection group, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN High Representative for Human Rights and Privacy in a Digital Age and others.

The Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe has made this statement…

“Suspicionless mass retention of communications data is fundamentally contrary to the rule of law, incompatible with core data-protection principles and ineffective. Member states should not resort to it or impose compulsory retention of data by third parties. /…/ Member states should stop relying on private companies that control the Internet and the wider digital environment to impose restrictions that are in violation of the state’s human rights obligations.”

But some countries — like the UK, France and Sweden — try hard to ignore all criticism and all concerns about human rights. They have no plans of giving up this kind of mass surveillance.


Link (in Swedish, about the Swedish court case, but with some helpful quotes in English): Amelia Andersdotter »

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply