Data Retention Directive declared invalid by the Court of Justice

By Emmanuelle Ragot

On 8 April 2014, the Court of Justice declared the directive no. 2006/24/EC on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available communications services or of public communications networks and amending Directive 2005/58/EC invalid.

The Data Retention Directive required operators to retain certain categories of data, allowing the identification of users and the access to details of phone calls and emails, but excluding their content, during a period of six months (as Luxembourg chose to implement) to two years. Such data could then be used by the public authorities for the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of ‘serious crimes’, as defined by each member state.

The Irish High Court had been seized by Digital Rights Ireland, regarding the legality of national retention measures. The proceeding before the Austrian Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichthof) was related to the compatibility of the Data Retention Directive with the Austrian Constitution…

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