German study finds the data retention ineffective

By EDRi · February 9, 2011

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Deutsch: [Deutsche Studie enthüllt: Vorratsdatenspeicherung ineffektiv |]

A study of police statistics published by the German Federal Crime Agency
on 26 January 2011, finds telecommunications data retention ineffective for
the prosecution of serious crime.

An analysis of Federal Crime Agency statistics published on 27 January 2011
by German civil liberties NGO AK Vorrat reveals that data retention, while
in force, did not make the prosecution of serious crime any more effective.

“The analysis reveals that with data retention legislation in force, more serious criminal acts (2009: 16,814) were registered by German police than before (2007: 15,790), and serious offences were cleared less often (2009: 83.5%) than before the retention of all communications data (2007: 84.4 %).”

According to AK Vorrat, user avoidance behaviour can explain the
counterproductive effects of blanket data retention on the investigation of
crime. In order to avoid the recording of sensitive information under a
blanket data retention scheme, users begin to employ Internet cafés,
wireless Internet access points, anonymisation services, public telephones,
unregistered mobile telephone cards, non-electronic communications channels
and the like. This avoidance behaviour cannot only render retained data
meaningless but also frustrate more targeted investigation techniques that
would otherwise have been available to law enforcement. Overall, blanket
data retention can thus be counterproductive to criminal investigations,
facilitating some, but rendering many more futile.

AK Vorrat study: Registered Serious Crime in Germany (26.01.2011)

Study finds telecommunications data retention ineffective (27.01.2011),en/