EU May Move Forward With Data Retention Laws… Even If They're Illegal

from the say-that-one-again-please? dept

What exactly is the point of the European Parliament again? While it has rejected a planned “data retention” law, noting that it would probably be illegal based on existing privacy laws, it appears that the EU is still going to move forward with the law. On top of that, of course, there’s the very real issue that data retention laws are a horrible idea in general that make the problem they’re trying to solve worse. The issue is that ISPs are required to save all the data that goes through their systems, so that police can later go back and snoop through it in case of a crime. Except that we’re talking about a lot of data. That means it will be very, very, very difficult to pick out the important bits of information. If anything, they’re hiding the important data. This was also brought up by the EU Parliament, but to no avail, as the folks backing the bill want it to move forward. It seems like a case (like many anti-spam laws) where politicians are passing a law because it “sounds good” rather than because it solves an actual problem. And, just like with spam laws, there will be no system in place to measure whether or not this law fixes a problem or makes it worse — and no “plan B” for when it does prove to make the problem worse. The politicians will just smile for their photo-shoot and talk about how they made us all “safer” in their next campaign ad.

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Comments on “EU May Move Forward With Data Retention Laws… Even If They're Illegal”

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Tim (user link) says:

No Subject Given

It seems quite simply to be plain clueless power-grabbing, to me. “We don’t know what we’re talking about, so we’ll arbitrarily make other people’s workload way ludicrously harder”.

Personally I think the polizei should have their work cut out: we pay our taxes to fund them, they should do their own dirty work without this shifty third-partyism.

Remember, the USian champion of all the idiots doesn’t even use email.

Pete Austin says:

No Subject Given

1) More data about you = more risk of that data being stolen and misused.

2) Suppose most of your recorded data makes you look like a regular guy, 1% makes you look like a saint (found a wallet and handed it in) and 1% makes you look like a sinner (someone else gave your name when stopped by police).

If there’s a *LOT* of data stored, suppose someone threatens to select all that “bad” 1%, which could be hundreds of items, and show it to a judge. It may all be circumstantial or just mistaken, but could you afford the court case?

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