The European Court of Justice has ruled invalid the European Union’s Data Retention Directive (Directive 2006/24/EC). The court ruled that the general scope of retention and the time frames for it were particularly problematic and non compatible with privacy protection.

Many privacy and digital rights activists have declared this a victory. The ruling raises questions for the national laws into which the directive was transposed, though it has been argued that national laws are not automatically also invalid.

It does mean back to the drawing board for the European Commission on the data retention issue and the European Data Protection Supervisor has already called for a new directive. A meeting is already scheduled between member states and telecommunications operators for later this month and the re-working of the directive may provide more opportunities for others to contribute to a better solution.

Photo: Justices in the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice
Credit: TPCOM (Creative Commons BY-NC)