No more communications data retention, top EU court tells UK

0 Posted by - 21st December 2016 - Technology

European governments must not oblige network operators to indiscriminately retain bulk customer communications data, the European Union’s top court reaffirmed on Wednesday.

The ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU came in response to a question from the U.K.’s Court of Appeal, which is examining the legality of the U.K.’s 2014 Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act, and a similar question from the Swedish telecommunications regulator.

But the ruling also calls into question the validity of the U.K.’s more recent Investigatory Powers Act, which received Royal Assent last month.

That law requires telecommunications companies to retain communications data, including calls made and lists of websites visited, and make it available to tens of thousands of government employees, including tax inspectors and food safety regulators.

“It will now be for the Court of Appeal to determine the case,” said a Home Office spokesman, referring to the challenge to the 2014 act. “The Government will be putting forward robust arguments to the Court of Appeal about the strength of our existing regime for communications data retention and access.”

Meanwhile, he said, “Given the importance of communications data to preventing and detecting crime, we will ensure plans are in place so that the police and other public authorities can continue to acquire such data in a way that is consistent with EU law and our obligation to protect the public.” via #CIO, #Technology