Feeds

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

'Serious interference', claims Court of Justice Advocate General

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
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.
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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.