Civil society calls for an end to compulsory telecommunications data retention

More than 100 organizations from 23 European countries last week asked EU Commissioners Malmström, Reding and Kroes in a joint letter to “propose the repeal of the EU requirements regarding data retention in favor of a system of expedited preservation and targeted collection of traffic data".

Among the signatories are civil liberties data protection and human rights associations as well as crisis line and emergency call operators, professional associations of journalists, jurists and doctors, trade unions, consumer organizations and industry associations. The EU data retention directive, adopted in 2006, currently compels phone and Internet companies to indiscriminately collect data about all of their customers' communications. According to last week's letter, such generalized data retention puts confidential activity and contacts, for example with journalists, crisis lines and business partners, at risk of disclosure by way of data leaks and abuses. " Blanket data retention has proven to be superfluous, harmful or even unconstitutional in many states across Europe", criticizes the letter.
The letter was signed by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. HCLU filed a petition with the Constitutional Court in order to request the ex-post examination for unconstitutionality and the annulment of the data retention provisions of the Act C of 2003 on electronic communications.
Click here to read the letter and the list of signatories.

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