Feeds

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

'Serious interference', claims Court of Justice Advocate General

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.