Czech Court Says No To Data Retention Rules

from the good-for-them dept

There’s been a big push around the globe, mainly by law enforcement but also with a helping hand from the entertainment industry, to force internet service providers to “retain data” for extensive periods of time, for various investigations. I’ve always been intrigued by the inherent conflict between data retention and privacy — especially in Europe where they seem to be pushing quite strong for both conflicting concepts at the same time. Apparently, the two have come into legal conflict once again in a courtroom — this time in the Czech Republic… and privacy has won out yet again.

In a ruling in the Czech Constitutional Court, the country’s data retention rules have been ruled illegal, saying that it’s a clear privacy violation. As the article notes, other countries, including Germany, Romania, Cyprus and Hungary have all run into similar problems trying to implement the European Data Retention Directive, and Sweden, Greece, Ireland and Austria have refused to implement the rules, because they don’t see how it can be done and not violate privacy rules. Perhaps, at some point, the folks who wrote the original directive will realize that it can’t be squared with Europe’s privacy rules.

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Comments on “Czech Court Says No To Data Retention Rules”

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zub says:


I’m quite surprised to see a reasonable ruling from the Czech Republic. After all – a quick glace at the logo of Czech Ministry of Culture quickly shows the state of affairs there: (Insulting assumption of “copyright” a “culture” going hand in hand.)

(For extra context: I actually have Czech citizenship.)

Peter S. Chamberlain (profile) says:

Re: "do away with privacy"???!!!

I hope you’re kidding!
Some of the biggest players in both the technical and political arenas have said things like “You have no privacy. Get over it.,” and, at the same time, candidly admitted that “the laws are written by [their] lobbyists.” It is long past time that the conservatives and the liberals, both of whom profess to support privacy rights as essential to liberty, which it is, quit partisan bickering and glory-hogging, get together, knock some of our “the people be damned” politicians of both parties’ heads together, and pass some tough personal privacy laws broad enough to cover existing and new and emerging technology, etc., with real civil and criminal teeth in them. But don’t bet on it because the money’s on the other side.

Daragh O Brien (user link) says:

Data Retention and Ireland

eh.. I believe you may be misinformed about Ireland’s ‘opposition’ to the Data Retention Directive. the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 was enacted on Jan 26th and transposes the EU Directive into Irish law.

There is a challenge to the Directive being taken by Digital Rights Ireland ( in the European Court of Justice. The Irish government’s objection was purely a procedural one – that the Directive hadn’t been brought through the right procedural channel in the European Commission (and the enactment of the legislation in Ireland makes that objection moot).

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