Continuing the battle against data retention

By EDRi · November 3, 2010

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During the 32nd Annual Conference of the Data Protection and Privacy
Commissioners “Privacy: Generations” that took place on 27 and 28 October
2010, EDRi-member Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called for the
abolition of the European Union’s Data Retention Directive.

“The Data Retention Directive is highly controversial, if not wildly
unpopular throughout the European Union. The directive was strongly opposed
by European privacy activists … as each country in the EU has implemented
the Data Retention Directive in their own law, they have faced challenges in
state courts,” explained Eva Galperin of EFF, in a blog post.

“The experience in Europe makes clear that mandatory data retention regimes
are disproportionate and unnecessary. We continue to believe that the
legitimate needs of law enforcement can be met by a more targeted data
preservation regime, without the collateral damage inflicted by the 2006
directive. Rather than fighting the privacy battle across Europe one state
at a time, EFF urges European Privacy Authorities to call upon the European
Commission to stand up for Internet users’ fundamental rights, and repeal
the 2006 Data Retention Directive outright”, stated the EFF.

Indeed, the EU Data Protection Directive has been facing a strong and large
opposition for several years now. Even the Roadmap published by the EU is
indicating that the national implementation has been more complicated than
initially thought. Thus most Member States were late in transposing, and 6
have not yet introduced transposing legislation, whereas in 2 Member States
the Constitutional Court annulled the national law transposing the
Directive. (Germany and Romania, plus a pending case in Hungary). Also there
is already a referral to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling at the behest of
the Irish High Court .

Also the expert group on data retention that should “unite in a single
platform all European stakteholders” seems to be missing the civil society
representation or the human rights experts.

According to a Commission source, the review report of the directive,
which was due on 15 September 2010, has recently been postponed to March
2011. The Commission seems to have difficulties to get data from the
member states that proves that data retention is necessary and
proportionate in a democratic society.

EFF Urges EU Data Protection Authorities to Call for the Repeal of the EU
Data Retention Directive (25.10.2010)

EFF calls for repeal of Data Retention Directive (29.10.2010)

Roadmap – Proposal for a review of the Directive 2006/24/EC (Data Retention)

Civil society calls for an end to compulsory telecommunications data
retention (28.06.2010),en/

EDRi-gram: WP29 criticizes the implementation of the EU data retention
directive (28.07.2010)