New data retention judgment by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice

Today a new data retention judgment by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice was made public. The court ruled amongst others that the Charter precludes “legislative measures which, as a preventive measure for the purposes of combating serious crime and preventing serious threats to public security, provide for the general and indiscriminate retention of traffic and location data“.

The decision:

On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby rules:

1. Article 15(1) of Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive on privacy and electronic communications), as amended by Directive 2009/136/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009, read in the light of Articles 7, 8 and 11 and Article 52(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be interpreted as precluding legislative measures which, as a preventive measure for the purposes of combating serious crime and preventing serious threats to public security, provide for the general and indiscriminate retention of traffic and location data. However, that Article 15(1), read in the light of Articles 7, 8, 11 and 52(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, does not preclude legislative measures that provide, for the purposes of safeguarding national security, combating serious crime and preventing serious threats to public security, for
– the targeted retention of traffic and location data which is limited, on the basis of objective and non-discriminatory factors, according to the categories of persons concerned or using a geographical criterion, for a period that is limited in time to what is strictly necessary, but which may be extended;
– the general and indiscriminate retention of IP addresses assigned to the source of an internet connection for a period that is limited in time to what is strictly necessary;
– the general and indiscriminate retention of data relating to the civil identity of users of electronic communications systems; and
– recourse to an instruction requiring providers of electronic communications services, by means of a decision of the competent authority that is subject to effective judicial review, to undertake, for a specified period of time, the expedited retention of traffic and location data in the possession of those service providers,
provided that those measures ensure, by means of clear and precise rules, that the retention of data at issue is subject to compliance with the applicable substantive and procedural conditions and that the persons concerned have effective safeguards against the risks of abuse.

2. Article 15(1) of Directive 2002/58, as amended by Directive 2009/136, read in the light of Articles 7, 8 and 11 and Article 52(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, must be interpreted as precluding national legislation pursuant to which the centralised processing of requests for access to data, which have been retained by providers of electronic communications services, issued by the police in the context of the investigation or prosecution of serious criminal offences, is the responsibility of a police officer, who is assisted by a unit established within the police service which has a degree of autonomy in the exercise of its duties, and whose decisions may subsequently be subject to judicial review.

3. EU law must be interpreted as precluding a national court from limiting the temporal effects of a declaration of invalidity which it is bound to make, under national law, with respect to national legislation imposing on providers of electronic communications services the general and indiscriminate retention of traffic and location data, owing to the incompatibility of that legislation with Article 15(1) of Directive 2002/58, as amended by Directive 2009/136, read in the light of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The admissibility of evidence obtained by means of such retention is, in accordance with the principle of procedural autonomy of the Member States, a matter for national law, subject to compliance, inter alia, with the principles of equivalence and effectiveness.

 

More information:

Over Ellen Timmer, advocaat ondernemingsrecht @Pellicaan

Verbonden aan Pellicaan Advocaten, http://www.pellicaan.nl/, kantoor Rotterdam, telefoon 088-6272287, fax 088-6272280, e-mail ellen.timmer@pellicaan.nl ||| Weblogs: algemeen: https://ellentimmer.com/ || modernisering ondernemingsrecht: http://flexbv.wordpress.com/ ||| Motto: goede bedoelingen rechtvaardigen geen slechte regels
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Een reactie op New data retention judgment by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice

  1. Pingback: European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on data retention, gives hope to demolish EU’s ChatControl 2.0 legislation plans – Anonymous Worldwide

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