Around the world, law enforcement has pushed for stronger data retention rules for years, despite little evidence that it actually helps stop crimes (in fact, there's evidence that it helps to obscure
important data by burying the data in tons of more data). Yet, since law enforcement and the media can team up to create moral panics, politicians usually end up passing such laws. However, over in Germany, the highest German court has ruled that the data retention law passed in 2008 is illegal
, saying that "the law's erosion of personal privacy outweighed its usefulness in combating terrorism." Furthermore, the court has ordered that data retained under the law should be destroyed immediately
. The court noted that the German law went well beyond EU requirements
and potentially harmed the rights of German citizens by having them feel like they're under constant observation:
The storage of data could "cause a diffusely threatening feeling of being under observation that can diminish an unprejudiced perception of one's basic rights in many areas,"