13 March 2010

DE - German Federal Constitutional Court rejects Data Retention Law

The German Federal Constitutional Court rejected the legislation requiring electronic communications traffic data retention for a period of 6 months. The legislation on data retention, implementing the similar EU Directive, was passed by the Bundestag on 9 November 2007 and entered into force on 1 January 2008. The court judges considered that the data storage was not secure enough, that it was not clear what it would be used for and that it could "cause a diffusely threatening feeling of being under observation that can diminish an unprejudiced perception of one's basic rights in many areas," as stated the president of the court, Hans-Jürgen Papier. They considered that "such retention represents an especially grave intrusion" into citizens' privacy. The court did not annul the legislation entirely but suspended it, asking for the immediate deletion of the data already collected and for the massive modification of the law in order to provide stricter conditions for to the use and storage of the data. According to the decision, the data should be encoded and there should be "transparent control" of the information usage.