German Court Finds Data Retention To Be A Violation Of Privacy

from the retain-this dept

As the US is now pushing for stronger data retention laws to aid law enforcement, it looks like some parts of Europe (who have been on the data retention bandwagon for much longer) are starting to push back in the other direction. A German court has ruled that blanket data protection rules are a privacy violation for individuals (thanks Claes!):
The court is of the opinion that data retention violates the fundamental right to privacy. It is not necessary in a democratic society. The individual does not provoke the interference but can be intimidated by the risks of abuse and the feeling of being under surveillance [...] The directive [on data retention] does not respect the principle of proportionality guaranteed in Article 8 ECHR, which is why it is invalid.' "
Now is there any chance politicians in the US will recognize this... or will it take a massive privacy breach due to unnecessary data retention laws before politicians wake up to the privacy issue?
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Filed Under: data retention, germany, privacy

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  1. identicon
    Claes, 21 Mar 2009 @ 1:16am

    I have some update on this:
    The summary in English might actually be slightly misleading. The court case seems to have revolved around EU agricultural subsidies and for some reason the court also tried the lawfulness of data retention. However, while it was part of the court's motivations it might not have been part of the actual ruling, so it's not clear whether this has any practical effect beyond telling us that courts might very well rule the data retention to be in violation with human rights if this were the main issue being tried.

    So, although it's correct that the court "is of the opinion that ...", it may not be right to say that the "court ruled that ..." in this case. I didn't know this when I posted it. I still hope people will be able to refer to this opinion of the court in the future and that we get a clear court ruling.

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