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ECJ judgment

EU data retention directive has been scrapped

Commenting on the judgment of the European Court of Justice in the case brought against the EU Data Retention Directive, Jan Philipp Albrecht, justice and home affairs spokesperson for the Greens/EFA group, stated:

"The blanket, unjustified collection and retention of telecommunications data in the EU must now stop! The European Court of Justice’s verdict on the incompatibility of the Data Retention Directive with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is a major victory for civil rights in Europe! Greens and civil rights activists have for years called for a light to be shone on the facts, and this is now possible: the evidence clearly shows that indiscriminate, highly intrusive data collection not only infringes human rights to privacy and data protection but has also totally failed to lead to any noticeable improvement in law enforcement. The Directive is therefore completely disproportionate and has rightly been scrapped by the Court.

It is disappointing that it had to take such a long time for EU citizens to get legal clarity on this massive breach of constitutional and treaty-based principles. Today's ruling is even more embarrassing for the German federal government and the EU Commission, who continue to advocate in favour of data retention and other types of unfounded, unjustified blanket surveillance, for example through the air passenger data system. At the same time, law enforcement investigations that are founded on an initial suspicion are, due to lack of resources, coming under increasing strain. This policy must be changed immediately. Civil rights are important, throughout Europe!”

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