EU Legal Services Report: Data Retention Likely Illegal

Brussels — Last year, the EU Court of Justice issued a sweeping condemnation of the EU Data Retention Directive, a law that required every Member State to implement data retention measures.

In response, the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament requested Legal Services to issue an opinion on the ramifications of the CJEU’s ruling for existing data retention schemes.

Tomorrow morning, Legal Services will release this long-awaited study. Access Now has obtained a copy of the document, which concludes that the EU’s powers to legislate on data retention matters are now limited. The full document can be found here.

“This report confirms what advocates have long known and reaffirms the CJEU’s judgement: Data retention schemes violate our most fundamental human rights,” said Access Now Policy Analyst Estelle Massé. “Both the EU and all its Members States should heed the call of Legal Services and conduct a case-by-case review of existing and future data retention legislation.”

Access Now has long rallied against data retention requirements globally, including advocating against the now invalid Data Retention Directive in the EU; the DRIP legislation in the UK; the proposed data retention mandate in the USA Freedom bill, and many more.

This report makes one thing clear: European policymakers must think twice before proposing any data retention or mass surveillance program in the future,” said Massé.