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The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) has filed its complaint with the
Constitutional Court requesting an ex post examination for
unconstitutionality and the annulment of the data retention provisions of
Act C of 2003 on electronic communications.
On 15 March 2008, the regulations implementing the 2006/24/EC Directive
on data retention entered into force in Hungary. Act C of 2003 on electronic
communications did not need much amendment since it already comprised
numerous restrictive data retention provisions prior to the directive. The
only changes of the amendments were the retention of Internet communications
data and the elimination of the lax – but at least pre-defined – legal
purposes of the data processing. Moreover the amendments totally disregarded
the provision of the directive that data should be “available for the
purpose of investigation, detection and prosecution of serious crime”.
The HCLU’s main concern in its complaint was the retention of personal data
for “the stock” without previously defined purposes. A 1991 decision of
the Constitutional Court prohibited such data processing and the Act on
Protection of Personal Data adopted a year later, also contains this ban.
HCLU has also stressed that data retention might be detrimental not only to
privacy but also to other fundamental rights such as freedom of information,
freedom of the press, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, freedom
of assembly and freedom of petition.
Constitutional complaint filed by HCLU against Hungarian telecom data
retention regulations (2.06.2008)
(Contribution by Adam Foldes – Hungarian Civil Liberties Union)