Blogs | Privacy and data protection | Data protection standards | Surveillance and data retention

Rally Members European Parliament against data retention

By EDRi · January 29, 2003

38 Members of the European Parliament from 7 different political groups have
united in their resistance against mandatory data retention. Initiated by Marco
Cappato, Italian Radical and former Rapporteur on privacy in the electronic
communications, last week the MEP’s presented a strongly worded recommendation
to the European Council. Even though the new European Privacy Directive leaves
room for national legislation on data retention, the MEP’s reject the current
Council-plans for a binding framework Decision.

A questionnaire that was sent out to all member-countries about current practice
and wishes concerning mandatory data retention showed all in favour of a
harmonised regime, with the sole exception of Germany and Austria, and some

hesitance in the Netherlands, that rather wait for Council harmonisation under
pending EU computer crime legislation. Further developments are secretly
discussed in the Council on Justice and Home Affairs. Only the provisional
conclusions from the Danish Presidency have been made public, suggesting further
discussion with the telecommunications industry is necessary.

With the urgent call, Cappato hopes to reaffirm the principle ‘that general
retention of traffic and location data concerning all communications and
electronic transactions by all citizens for the sole purpose of providing law
enforcement authorities with material for investigations would seriously risk to
undermine the very democracy it claims to defend from its enemy.’

Among the signatories are 4 former shadow rapporteurs on privacy in the
electronic communications, Christian Von BÅ¡tticher (EPP), Elena Ornella Paciotti
(PSE), Sarah Ludford (ELDR), Alima Boumediene-Thiery (Greens) and the
Coordinator of the GUE in the LIBE Committee, Giuseppe Di Lello.

MEP’s recommendation (21.01.2003)

Answers to questionnaire on traffic data retention (Council, 20.11.2002)

Provisional conclusions from the Danish Presidency (in PDF, 23.10.2002)

Privacy-directive 2002/58/EC (in PDF, 12.07.2002)