Saturday, February 04, 2006

EU body slams data retention

The European Economic and Social Committee, part of the European Union policy-making apparatus, has published a damning report on the EU Data Retention Directive:

1. Conclusions and recommendations

1.1 The Committee is very surprised and concerned by the submission of such a legislative proposal: its provisions are disproportionate and infringe fundamental rights.

1.2 The proposal's approach to fundamental rights, particularly the right to privacy, is inappropriate and could clash on certain aspects.

1.3 It runs the risk of undermining the confidence of users of electronic communications and discouraging them from using ICTs. This loss of consumer confidence could hinder the future development of the information society in the long term and thus jeopardise the Lisbon Strategy.

1.4 The Committee doubts that the proposal fully complies with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, due to the absence of reasons for concluding that a Community objective can be better achieved at Community level.

1.5 The additional costs incurred by operators from the storage and transmission of the data referred to in the proposal should be considered as a charge that ought to be borne by the providers simply as a part of being on the market, rather than by the public purse and thus all citizens.

1.6 For all the above reasons, the Commission should substantially revise this proposal. As a whole it does not, in the Committee's opinion, comply with either fundamental rights or the rules of access, use and exchange of data.

Shame this has come too late, after the directive passed in December.

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