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EU rules that phone data retention infringes ‘fundamental rights’


The European Unions top court yesterday overturned a ruling that forced European telecoms companies to keep their customers phone records on file for up to two years. The EUs Court of Justice decreed that the Data Retention Directive, originally introduced after terrorist bombings in London and Madrid in 2006, infringed on fundamental human rights and exceeded the limits of proportionality. Telecoms companies retained data under the directive that showed the people involved in communication and the frequency of their interactions, but not the content of the messages or phone calls. In a statement, the Court said that by requiring the retention of those data and by allowing the competent national authorities to access those data, the directive interferes in a particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data.

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