Feeds

Data Retention Directive CLASHES with EU citizens' privacy rights, says top lawman

'Serious interference', claims Court of Justice Advocate General

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A seven-year-old EU directive that requires telecoms outfits to retain details of phone calls and emails - such as traffic and location - clashes with the 28-member bloc's privacy rights for citizens, a Court of Justice Advocate General has said.

Pedro Cruz Villalón believes that the 2006 data retention directive "constitutes a serious interference with the fundamental right of citizens to privacy".

His opinion [PDF] was laid down in Luxembourg this morning in response to proceedings taking place in Ireland's High Court and Austria's Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof) where challenges have been mounted against state powers that have, it is alleged, "unlawfully" sat on, processed and gained control of communications data.

Both cases await a preliminary ruling.

The AG's opinion is not binding, but - in most cases - the EU's Court of Justice adopts such viewpoints.

He claimed that the directive was "incompatible" with the Charter of Fundamental Rights because the data retained by ISPs, which are obliged to store traffic and location information on their networks for up to two years, could be abused.

The opinion reads:

[T]he use of those data may make it possible to create a both faithful and exhaustive map of a large portion of a person’s conduct strictly forming part of his private life, or even a complete and accurate picture of his private identity.

There is, moreover, an increased risk that the retained data might be used for unlawful purposes which are potentially detrimental to privacy or, more broadly, fraudulent or even malicious. Indeed, the data are not retained by the public authorities, or even under their direct control, but by the providers of electronic communications services themselves.

Nor does the Directive provide that the data must be retained in the territory of a Member State. They can therefore be accumulated at indeterminate locations in cyberspace.

He concluded that the EU should be given time within a "reasonable period" to adopt measures that address the supposed clash with a citizens' privacy rights. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.