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Booklet: Launch of Data Retention Revisited

Today we are pleased to launch our updated handbook: “Data Retention Revisited”. The handbook is one of the few dedicated resources created on the topic of data retention in the European Union (EU).

By EDRi · September 28, 2020

The booklet was written by researchers Melinda Rucz and Sam Kloosterboer from the Information Law and Policy Lab in the Netherlands. It was coordinated by EDRi and received input from many of its members. Although the Data Retention Directive was invalidated thanks to legal action brought forward by EDRi member Digital Rights Ireland, many of the national implementations of the defunct Directive remain in place with no prospective of invalidation.

Data Retention Revisited explores the history of data retention in Europe, the legal framework and the impact of data retention practices on fundamental rights. This includes the intrusiveness of metadata and the stifling effects on freedom of expression. It explores how necessity and proportionately fit into data retention practices (including voluntary ones), as well as its effectiveness (is mass surveillance even useful?) showcasing problems such as false positives and “technological solutionism”.

In more national news, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) will be soon be deciding on four data retention cases. The Advocate General Opinion, that usually (but not always) is followed by judges in the final decision goes towards the right direction. We hope that our handbook brings some clarity to the topic ahead of the awaited judgment.

Read more:

Data Retention Revisited Booklet:

Indiscriminate data retention considered disproportionate, once again (15.01.2020):

European Commission will “monitor” existing EU data retention laws (29.07.2015):

ECJ: Data retention directive contravenes European law (09.04.2014):