back to article Death of data retention directive: What it means for OTHER data laws

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on Tuesday declared the Data Retention Directive (DRD) invalid. It has said that the DRD "entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data, without that interference being …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the betting

    that the UK will try to wriggle out of this one. How many times will the UKs version of a "complying" law be thrown out ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the betting

      I'd add a side bet on the Tories using this as another stick to bang the 'leave the EU' drum, along the usual lines of 'red tape' or 'damaging competitiveness' to whip more support for the Little Englander vote should their referendum come to pass. More or less anything coming out of Europe in the next couple of years that sounds in any way, shape or form useful to the british populace will be likely to get the same Daily-Mailesque treatment - and as the commentard below notes, the EU is about all we have protecting us from our own government in certain areas.

      We'll end up sleepwalking out of the EU and its institutions on the back of hollow wishful thinking, and before you know it roaming costs will be back where they were, DNA samples will be kept for life, and phorm's share price will start to head north in anticipation of a more supportive government response this time round.

      Embarrassing to reflect we're the nation that came up with Magna Carta.

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    It's a sad day when we need the Euorpean parliament to protect us... from our government

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      It has been thus since the times of Gilgamesh!

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      @Will Godfrey"

      "It's a sad day when we need the Euorpean parliament to protect us... from our government"

      And it's not the first time either.

      But a UK independent from the EU could store as much data on its citizens as it liked.

      Yay for independence.

      1. dogged

        Re: @Will Godfrey"

        > But a UK independent from the EU could store as much data on its citizens as it liked.

        Not if it was still a party to the ECHR, an institution which is not a part of the EU and which was interestingly co-founded by the UK after WWII.

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Not sad at all...

      >It's a sad day when we need the Euorpean parliament to protect us

      The whole reason we're a signatory to the ECHR (different institution, same principle) is that (a) national governments have a tendency to do what's temporarily expedient even if it's permanently wrong and (b) citizens are generally happy to be compliant provided they perceive that only a minority of people (other than themselves) will suffer as a result. You can't have human rights policed by the people who police you, That's why it's a nonsense to say that only Parliament should be allowed to determine what's acceptable in the UK - Parliament has demonstrated it's not to be trusted (as has almost every other parliament).

      Having some sort of international "constitution" is a fundamental protection of citizens' rights because it takes them outside the scope of temporary political convenience.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: Not sad at all... @Warm Braw

        We could, for the sake of argument, replace it with our own constitution and local judges (cf. the country across the pond) but the ECHR seems to serve us fine and, I would argue, is more resistant to political manipulation than a supreme court would be.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does it matter?

    I mean, goverment agencies spy and retain all they want. So it is nice to have the EU issue directives, but then spy agencies on EU members ignore these at will and there is no one to enforce them?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Does it matter?

      Yes, you can't stop US Navy tapping an underwater cable or the CIA breaking into a data center to plant a bug.

      But you can stop your local council having an automatic right to a list of every website you visited and the contents of every email you sent and having the right to pull up that list when you go to complain about the roads.

      It's like saying it's pointless to ban park keepers from shooting children who walk on the grass because the USAF have drones.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does it matter?

        There's another angle to that. How it is better that your local council can't peek at your data while your government agency can? Why create a false sense of privacy (from the small powers) when there is really no hope of privacy (from the big powerful entities)? Assume no privacy at all and you'll be right from from the start. Paranoid as that looks, I think we're headed to an environment where you can keep some measures to reasonably maintain your privacy, but you can't assume that these are going to stop anyone. Much less an EU directive without no one with effective powers to enforce it.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Does it matter?

          Because shadowy government agencies who can and will kill people / overthrow governments and sell arms to Iran to finance terrorists in Nicaragua will always operate outside the law.

          So to say - oh well we can stop them so we might as well extend that power officially to every level of officialdom from the Milk Marketing Board to the RSPCA - is probably not a Goof Thing (tm)

  4. Busby

    Another sensible decision from the European courts which will be ignored. Even if it gets to the stage of being fined for non compliance I can't imagine the government relaxing the data dragnet.

    Convenient that the government wants to negotiate which EU laws they can ignore at will this is bound to be somewhere near the top of the list. Entire data retention policy is ridiculous there is no need for everything on everyone to be held for anything more than a month in my opinion. Even one month could be considered excessive but if for nothing other than billing purposes some data needs to be retained for a short while.

  5. SumDood

    One day politicians will see this come home to roost in a big, big way.

    It is their own sordid histories which, of all the personal data accumulated, will be the most used, abused and manipulated to their detriment.

    Being ego-centric, greedy megalomaniacs they don't have enough spare brain cells between them to understand this.

  6. dogged

    I see the flaw here

    It lies in this telling phrase - "competent authorities",

    I don't think there are any of those, except perhaps the Fire Brigade and Air Traffic Control.

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