European Parliament Freedom, democracy and transparency Pirate Party

Comeback of blanket metadata retention?

Member of the European Parliament and civil liberties activist Dr. Patrick Breyer (Pirate Party) warns of the consequences of today’s opinions of the EU Advocate General on data retention, who speaks out in favour “other means of targeted data retention”:

Blanket data retention is the most far-reaching and most privacy invasive surveillance measure ever adopted. Like the police, the EU Advocate General now wants the European Court of Justice to stop protecting unsuspected citizens from retaining information on their everyday communications and movements by accepting supposedly ‘targeted’ data retention. The result would be a far-reaching registration of the behaviour of all people in Europe without any suspicion of a crime. Under a such general suspicion the confidential counselling of people in need would be as much at risk as the freedom of the press.

The EU Advocate General falls for the fake news of surveillance ideologists: In fact, blanket data retention has not prevented a single terrorist attack. According to crime statistics data retention does not have a statistically significant effect on the commission or investigation of criminal offences anywhere in the EU. I have requested the European Parliament Research Services to compile updated statistics on this, the results of which will be published shortly.

I call on the European Court of Justice to uphold its jurisprudence, finding that blanket data retention violates our fundamental right to privacy.

On the initiative of the Pirates and their group, the Committee on Civil Liberties of the European Parliament next Tuesday afternoon will deal with the Danish data retention scandal: A double-digit number of convicted people were released from prison in 2019 after it was found that incorrect communications data had systematically been used in criminal trials.

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