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Patrick Breyer: „Data retention is dead. Stop trying to resurrect it!”

European Parliament Freedom, democracy and transparency Press releases

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled today in Luxembourg that general and indiscriminate data retention is inadmissible even for the purpose of combating serious crimes. MEP and civil rights activist Dr. Patrick Breyer (Pirate Party) comments:

“General and indiscriminate data collection represents an unprecedented attack on our right to privacy and is the most invasive method of mass surveillance. Today’s ruling hammers into stone what surveys have found before: blanket data retention has a chilling effect on communications and creates a constant risk of abuse.

The French circumvention mechanism of constructing a permanent state of emergency to implement blanket data retention, but using this data sea for other purposes than national security, has failed in court today – a massive victory for the right to privacy.

The EU Commission now finally needs to do its job and start enforcing the landmark rulings, instead of pursuing its plans to bring back data retention. The greatest risk is that indiscriminate IP data retention could be mandated by the EU. Under no circumstances should all internet users be placed under general suspicion and online anonymity be abolished! A general and indiscriminate retention of our identity on the Internet allows for creating comprehensive personality and movement profiles of practically every citizen. Incidentally, there is no evidence that IP data retention significantly increases the crime clearance rate. In the absence of data retention Germany today has a higher cybercrime clearance rate than with IP data retention in place in 2009.“

More information on the EU plans for the Europe-wide reintroduction of data retention