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Brussels, 8 April 2014
Data retention directive: Commissioner Malmström's statement on today's Court judgment
"The judgment of the Court brings clarity and confirms the critical conclusions in terms of proportionality of the Commission's evaluation report of 2011 on the implementation of the data retention directive. The European Commission will now carefully asses the verdict and its impacts. The Commission will take its work forward in light of progress made in relation to the revision of the e-Privacy directive and taking into account the negotiations on the data protection framework," said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs.
The Data Retention Directive was adopted in the aftermath of the terroristic attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005 as there was a sense of urgency to harmonize the European efforts to investigate and prosecute the most serious crimes.
The Directive requires Member States to ensure that telecommunication operators retain traffic and location data generated or processed by service and network providers for the purpose of investigation, detection and prosecution of serious crimes, as defined by national law. The data must be retained for a minimum of six months to a maximum of two years (to be decided by Member States in transposing the Directive into national laws).
In 2011 the Commission issued an evaluation report as required by Article 14 of the Directive. The report concluded that data retention has proven useful in criminal investigations against the harm caused by crime and terrorism, also including critical conclusions on the design of the Directive in particular when it comes to the balance between security and respect of the privacy of EU citizens.
For more information
Frequently Asked Questions: The Data Retention Directive:
2011 European Commission Evaluation Report on the Data Retention Directive: