EU lawyers have stated that “blanket data retention is no longer possible” in the European Union, according to German civil liberties group AK Vorrat.
The campaign group claims to have obtained internal documents of a closed meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers. These documents record Council’s Legal Services as stating that paragraph 59 of the CJEU’s recent ruling on the Data Retention Directive “suggests that general and blanket data retention is no longer possible”.
Paragraph 59 objects to the Directive on the grounds that it “does not require any relationship between the data whose retention is provided for and a threat to public security”.
...in particular, it is not restricted to a retention in relation (i) to data pertaining to a particular time period and/or a particular geographical zone and/or to a circle of particular persons likely to be involved, in one way or another, in a serious crime, or (ii) to persons who could, for other reasons, contribute, by the retention of their data, to the prevention, detection or prosecution of serious offences.
— Paragraph 59, Directive 2006/24
An AK Vorrat spokesperson called for the Commission to legislate to ban national laws that re-enact the blanket data retention measures mandated by the Directive.
The EU’s lawyers have confirmed that a reenactment of a blanket data retention directive - which is under consideration by the EU Commission and would be welcomed by many Member State governments - is no longer a legal option. We call upon the Commission to uphold our fundamental rights by rejecting attempts to renew blanket collection of communications and movement data. Considering cross-border communications and our common responsibility for the right to privacy of all EU citizens, we urge the EU to enact an explicit legislative ban on national blanket data retention laws. Europe needs to be an area of freedom rather than an area of distrust or general suspicion.
— Heiko Stamer, AK Vorrat member
For more information, see: EU lawyers tell Member States: Blanket communications data retention “no longer possible” - AK Vorrat