Court of Justice: EU law precludes national legislation that prescribes general and indiscriminate retention of data.

In the Digital Rights Ireland judgment of 2014,1 the Court of Justice declared invalid the directive on the retention of data on the ground that the interference, by the general obligation to retain traffic data and location data imposed by that directive, in the fundamental rights to respect for privacy and the protection of personal data was not limited to what was strictly necessary.

Now, a new Judgment about data retention, in Joined Cases C-203/15 Tele2 Sverige AB v Post-och telestyrelsen and C-698/15 Secretary of State for the Home Department v Tom Watson and Others, declares that EU law precludes a general and indiscriminate retention of traffic data and location data, but it is open to Members States to make provision, as a preventive measure, for targeted retention of that data solely for the purpose of fighting serious crime, provided that such retention is, with respect to the categories of data to be retained, the means of communication affected, the persons concerned and the chosen duration of retention, limited to what is strictly necessary. Access of the national authorities to the retained data must be subject to conditions, including prior review by an independent authority and the data being retained within the EU.

The Judgment

Court of Justice Press Release ENG

Court of Justice Press Release ITA

EU’s highest court delivers blow to UK snooper’s charter, The Guardian.

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