Blogs | Privacy and data protection | Privacy and confidentiality

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)