back to article Dob in naughty data slurps to top EU court, privacy groups urge

More than 60 privacy groups and activists have demanded that member states still engaging in blanket data retention of communications info – despite it being ruled unlawful – are referred to the EU's top court. In an open letter (PDF) to the European Commission, the signatories refer to two landmark privacy judgments, in 2014 …

  1. Khaptain Silver badge

    Potential Terrorism/Mafia/Illegal Activists

    Since we are all considered as potential terrorist/mafioso or illegal activists then we can safely presume that the Govts are not going to stop this activity any time soon.....

    Alternative solution : Give us access to the politicians/ministers/governing persons private phone calls, whereabouts and all online/offline activity in order that we too may make judgement on activities performed. We pay for the politicians, wouldn't it be the correct thing to allow us some insight into how they execute their well payed tasks, both in and behind the scenes.....

    After all they too might actually be involved potential terrorist/mafioso or illegal activiities....

    1. walatam

      Re: Potential Terrorism/Mafia/Illegal Activists

      "Give us access to the politicians/ministers/governing persons private phone calls, whereabouts and all online/offline activity in order that we too may make judgement on activities performed."

      I understand what you are saying but rather than broadening the data capture, we should fight for it to be narrowed as much as possible and have expert, unbiased scrutiny on the claims that data slurping has protected us from X, Y and Z.

      There are, however, some serious problems with our MP's being able to vote on restricting how they are affected by data and privacy laws (granted, they should have some exemptions for some of their activities but they should not be able to pass that law by themselves).

  2. onefang Silver badge

    You left out drug pedlerphiles. We don't pay our governments, or we don't pay them enough, big business does.

  3. Bogle

    Bums

    So the UK government is acting illegally but appears to be free to carry on with its bulk data collection. What exactly is the sanction that the High Court can apply? Because a slap on the bum is only going to encourage most of them.

  4. Gordon Pryra

    Whats the point?

    Government abides by no laws, in any country on the planet.

    They never have.

    Hell, most laws can be ignored by any person who has enough money let alone the "powers that be"

    The problem with action groups is that they don't understand the world they live in. They see a problem, and rightfully feel that it should be rectified, but believe that they have a say or any mechanism in which to change things.

    Occasionally they are allowed to feel they have won, in order to keep the background noise down a bit.

    A good example of this is in the UK with PPI claims.

    The banking Ombudsman makes the banks pay back what amounts to a small investment cost to a person who then thinks that have got some kind of justice. But the bank has already made more money on that stolen cash than they ever repay.

    It LOOKS like something has been done, but in reality, the small people are being laughed at and the status quo is upheld.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Whats the point?

      Government abides by no laws, in any country on the planet.

      In the country I own, there is law that says I can't follow any other country's laws.... even if they are the same as our laws ;-/

  5. John G Imrie Silver badge
    Trollface

    Delay

    All we have to do is delay this for 9 months and our marvellous security forces will be able to continue monitoring all those subversive Remainers, drug pushing Doctors and Pediatricians. Now, who stole my copy of the Daily Mail.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Delay

      All we have to do is delay this for 9 months ...

      In about 9 months time it will become even more of a problem for the government. At present, while we are part of the EU then we are part of the EU for data protection purposes - and it's up to others to prove that we don't protect data/privacy enough (hence these cases).

      Once we leave the EU then it's a lot harder. We have to demonstrate to the EU that we have sufficiently robust laws in place to have "equivalency" to EU regulations - which we clearly do not and given the way our current (and past) incumbents down in Whitehall and Westminster talk about it, never will. Without this EU declaration that we have equivalency in data protection laws, it will be ILLEGAL for anyone with a presence in the EU to deal with us.

      Just stop and think for a moment what that means ...

      For example, it would be ILLEGAL for anyone dealing in personal data of an EU citizen (or a non-citizen located in the EU) to use ANY service provider based in the UK - simply because under UK law, that provider will not be able to guarantee security/protection of that data to the level required by EU law. So suddenly, ALL UK based hosting providers will be locked out of EU business, UK banks would be locked out of EU business, etc, etc. Forget any issues around competitiveness, tariffs, etc - a whole swath of business currently carried on in the UK would become ILLEGAL under EU law and we would be locked out of that market.

      For a parallel, look at the EU-US situation. We used to have Safe Harbour, which for many years provided the illusion that EU persons' data could be safely exported to the US. Everyone knew it was a pile of steaming manure, but there wasn't any proof prior to Ed Snowden's revelations - after which the authorities could no longer stick their fingers in their ears and shout "LA LA LA CAN'T HEAR YOU" any longer to protect the status quo. Max Shrems first legal case blew Safe Harbour out of the water - so TPTB hurriedly came up with Privacy ShieldFigleaf, which itself will be blown out of the water when Max Schrems' current case works it's way through the system.

      The US likes to talk the talk and claim it's got measures in place - but in reality they don't and their law is fundamentally incompatible with EU law. Yes, their law is FUNDAMENTALLY INCOMPATIBLE (and getting made even more so, eg CLOUD act, over time) and no amount of whitewash paint will hide that any more.

      So will be the case between the UK and EU. There is a big difference though between UK-EU and US-EU. With the US, there are powerful interests that want things to carry on - hence Privacy ShieldFigleaf being hurriedly put in place after Safe Harbour was blown away. But with the UK and the EU there are powerful forces that want to actively see us fail, so instead of there being active measures to lean a bit, squint a bit, put the telescope to the blind eye, and see no problem - here there are powerful forces that will want to actively sabotage any UK-EU data protection equivalency ruling because they want to see the UK hurting as much as possible.

      You only have to look at statements made by the likes of Juncker - it's clear that they'd rather see the EU hurting than miss an opportunity to hurt the UK. It was a natural response of course - they NEED Brexit to be a failure for the UK because they know that if it isn't then there are several other countries lined up to follow suit.

  6. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

    Can the European court go after the telecoms companies?

    I'm not sure whether their legal remit allows them to fine the telecoms companies. If the likes of BT were to be repeatedly slapped with multi million fines they'd pretty quickly bring pressure to bare on the government.

    Business leaders and shareholders are far more likely to have an impact of government policy than mere voters. Political parties tend to oppose these sorts of things while in opposition but they all seem to immediately change their tune when in power (and change back again next time they aren't).

    1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

      Re: Can the European court go after the telecoms companies?

      Technically they can't go after the telcos as they are retaining the information under a legal requirement (GDPR Art6 1C)

      Its the legal requirement thats wrong

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Can the European court go after the telecoms companies?

        Its the legal requirement thats wrong

        Technically illegal, according to the judgement.

        Still think whoever drafted the illegal law should be charged.

        Charged with what? I'm sure something fits, human rights violation, attempting to overthrow democracy, or just treason.

        Hell, the government itself has widened terror-related offenses enough that they could be gotten under that (but so could shoplifting).

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