View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you

Mobile and phone data may only be kept for severe crimes, says ECJ

News: The European Court of Justice attorney general's decision said there was a general obligation that retaining data must be compatible with EU law.

By CBR Staff Writer

Data retention from telephone calls and emails is legal only in some serious crime cases, according to a preliminary ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on a data retention case brought by UK MPs and privacy rights groups.

The types of data that can be retained include the date, time and duration of calls, and the source as well as destination of calls, excluding their content.

The opinion was issued at the request of courts in Sweden and the UK, where several individuals filed appeals against national legislation on data retention.

The ECJ's advocate general, Henrik Saugmandsgaard Oe, said a general obligation to retain data imposed by a Member State on providers of electronic communication services may be compatible with EU law.

Saugmandsgaard noted that governments need to satisfy strict requirements, including respecting the essence of the right to respect for private life and the right to the protection of personal data laid down by the Charter.

He said: "The fight against serious crime is an objective in the general interest that is capable of justifying a general obligation to retain data.”

But Saugmandsgaard said this obligation must be "strictly necessary to the fight against serious crime," and "proportionate".

Content from our partners
Green for go: Transforming trade in the UK
Manufacturers are switching to personalised customer experience amid fierce competition
How many ends in end-to-end service orchestration?

Even though it is non-binding, the ECJ is likely to follow the advocate general’s opinion in its final verdict, which is anticipated later this year.

Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson was quoted by the Guardian as saying, “The opinion makes it clear that information including browsing history and phone data should not be made available to the security services and other state bodies without independent authorisation.

“The security services have an important job to do, but judicial oversight is vital if we are to maintain the right balance between civil liberties and state power.”

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.
THANK YOU