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[Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED ] EDPS PRESS RELEASE
Monday 26 September 2005
Data retention: EDPS presents his Opinion
Retention of traffic data of telecommunications has been high on the political agenda during the last months. Two rivalling proposals for EU-legislation are on the table - a draft framework decision proposed by four Member States and a Commission proposal for a Directive.
Peter Hustinx, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), who today presents his Opinion on the Commission proposal observes: "This is an incredibly sensitive issue. The Directive has a direct impact on the protection of privacy of EU citizens and it is crucial that it respects their fundamental rights, as settled by the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. A legislative measure that would weaken the protection is not only unacceptable but also illegal".
Although not convinced of the necessity of the proposed Directive, the EDPS presents his view on its main elements. If the Council and the European Parliament decide that data retention is necessary for the purpose of serious crime investigation, the following criteria should be met, for the Directive to be acceptable:
The Opinion of the EDPS contains a detailed analysis of the proposed Directive along these lines and puts forward a number of constructive and concrete proposals to ensure respect for fundamental rights. It also mentions that co-decision of Council and Parliament is the only acceptable way forward in this highly sensitive area.