Data retention under scrutiny: EDPS makes case at EU Court of Justice

05 november 2019

On 9 - 10 September 2019, the EDPS was invited to appear before the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) in a joint hearing in a number of cases primarily relating to the retention of telecommunications data and to regimes governing access to electronic communications data by State authorities.

The Edps issued its pleading, concluding that in all four cases before the Court , the measures in question fall within the scope of Directive 2002/58 and as a consequence must comply with the requirements set out in Article 15(1) of the Directive. 

The Edps pointed out that, electronic communications data can provide revealing insights on a wide variety of aspects of a person’s life. 

Nevertheless, it might be possible to provide for a limited yet effective communications data retention and access regime in a manner compatible with the Charter. In this context, we submit that the retention and access to the retained data, including the substantive and procedural conditions, should not be considered in isolation. 

It is the responsibility of the legislator to regulate data retention and access in a comprehensive manner and in particular to strengthen the safeguards for access of competent authorities to the retained data. 

The EDPS suggested that Such safeguards should in particular include prior authorisation by a court or an independent authority, and meaningful ex post controls, including sanctions for non-compliance. 

Source: EDPS

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