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InfoLawUpdate - Court of Justice scraps Data Retention Directive

Burnetts' information law solicitor Natalie Ruane discusses the Data Retention Directive.

On 8 April 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared that the Data Retention Directive (DRD) is invalid. The objective of the DRD is to ensure that ‘certain data is available for the purposes of investigation, detection and prosecution of a serious crime’. The directive allows internet service providers to retain data for up to two years.

The Court ruled that the directive interferes with fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data. It added that the information held could be used without the person to whom the information relates being aware of such ‘constant surveillance’. Further, the Court added that the directive does not contain suitable safeguards to prevent the risk of abuse and any unlawful access to the use of the data.

The damning judgment is a victory for those who are championing greater protection of personal information. This decision, in light of the European Parliament’s approval of the data protection directive and the outcry after the Edward Snowden revelations, demonstrates a real shift towards a tightening of the rules on data protection.

About the author

Natalie Ruane profile photo

Natalie Ruane

Natalie is a Partner and leads the Employment Law & HR team and specialises in education.

Published: Friday 9th May 2014
Categorised: Information Law

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