Regs surveillance & privacy

European Court Rules European Data Retention Directive Unlawful


Judgment was handed down today in a long running campaign brought by Digital Rights Ireland against the European Data Retention Directive* (transposed into domestic law in The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009). In short, the European Court of Justice has overturned the Directive, saying “[it] entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data“.

Broadly, the Directive required telcos to store certain data for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 24 months. The UK transposition mandated 12 months which is consistent with other legislation). The natural consequence of this is that our own transposition will need to be repealed, which has obvious consequences — directly, and indirectly as a result of the court’s decision — for law enforcement and the security services, as well as telcos (the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, or RIPA, predates this, as does the Data Protection Act).

Watch this space!

* Strictly known as Directive 2006/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks and amending Directive 2002/58/EC.


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Peter Farmer

By Peter Farmer

Peter Farmer is the Commercial and Regulatory Manager at Gamma, writing here on Trefor.Net in a personal capacity. He sits with Tref on the Internet Telephony Service Providers' Association Council and is their Chair of the Regulatory Affairs Committee.

Peter's experience covers consultation responses and disputes with Ofcom, lobbying government (UK and European) on telecommunications matters, litigations at the Competition Appeal Tribunal, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Despite all of that, and having three Masters degrees, his main job is actually being a Personal Assistant to his two cats.

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