Feeds

EFF calls for repeal of Data Retention Directive

Retaining logs of network use is 'disproportionate and unpopular'

Security for virtualized datacentres

Digital rights campaign group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has called for the abolition of the European Union's Data Retention Directive, the law that demands that telecoms companies retain logs of subscribers' use of their networks.

The EFF, based in San Francisco, wants the EU's data protection watchdogs to pressure the European Union's governing bodies to repeal the law, claiming that it is disproportionate and unpopular with citizens.

The Directive orders countries to pass laws forcing telecoms companies to keep records of when its services were used and by whom. This information is then made available for passing to police and other state authorities. Countries can choose a retention period as short as six months and no longer than two years.

"The Data Retention Directive is highly controversial, if not wildly unpopular throughout the European Union," said the EFF's Eva Galperin in a blog post. "The directive was strongly opposed by European privacy activists ... as each country in the EU has implemented the Data Retention Directive in their own law, they have faced challenges in state courts."

The EU committee of data protection watchdogs, the Article 29 Working Party, published a report on the Directive earlier this year calling for a restriction in the period of retention. It said that the Directive had not been consistently applied by EU member states.

It said that there should be closer harmonisation in the implementation of the Directive in EU countries, and that the period of retention should shorten. The Working Party added that it should not be up to countries to order the retention of more data than mandated in the Directive.

"The Working Party considers it appropriate to lay down specific recommendations to ensure increased harmonisation, more secure data transmission and standardised handover procedures," said the group's report. "The list of traffic data that are to be retained on a mandatory basis is to be regarded as exhaustive. Accordingly, no additional data retention obligations may be imposed on providers pursuant to the [Data Retention] Directive."

The EFF said that courts in Germany and Romania had rejected laws based on the Directive. The German court ruled that it was unconstitutional and the Romanian court ruled that it breached the right to privacy guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.

"The experience in Europe makes clear that mandatory data retention regimes are disproportionate and unnecessary," said Galperin. "We continue to believe that the legitimate needs of law enforcement can be met by a more targeted data preservation regime, without the collateral damage inflicted by the 2006 directive."

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire
Welcome to GOV.UK - digital by de ... FAULT
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.