Labour MEP for Dublin Emer Costello has said there is now a clear onus on the European Union to revise the Data Retention directive following this morning's opinion* from the European Court of Justice that the 2006 legislation, which obliges the providers of telephone or electronic communications services to collect and retain traffic and location data, constitutes a “serious interference with the fundamental rights of citizens to privacy”, as set down in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, which entered into force in 2009.
Today’s opinion from the ECJ was delivered in a joint challenge to the directive by Digital Rights Ireland and by a group of Austrian citizens.
Ms Costello said: “Most people would accept that law enforcement authorities should be able to access certain communications records (but not the content) in order to combat serious crime such as the 2004 Madrid and the 2005 London bombings, but that these powers must be proportionate, subject to democratic and judicial scrutiny.”
"Today's finding that the 2006 directive is incompatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights is a victory for citizen's rights.”
"The European Parliament has repeatedly called for the directive to be revised. This call is now greatly strengthened by today's opinion. There is now a clear onus on the EU to revise the directive to bring it fully into line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights as quickly as possible.
"The Minster for Justice Alan Shatter TD should now also urge the European Commission to revise the directive in order to ensure it complies with the Charter" Ms Costello concluded.