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Parliament legal opinion on more scrutiny of data retention legislation in member states welcomed

Parliament's legal service has today supported GUE/NGL's long-held view that a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling which declared the data retention directive invalid must be applied in member states too.

The ruling, from April last year, said that the data retention directive must be thrown out because it violated respect for private life and protection of personal data.

The legal service opinion, presented to MEPs this morning in Parliament's Civil Liberties committee, calls for all national laws on data retention to be changed in light of the ECJ ruling, since it applies to them indirectly.

German GUE/NGL MEP Cornelia Ernst said: “This makes it clear that following the annulment of the data retention directive last April by the Luxembourg court all national legislation on data retention of telecommunications data must be scrutinised in line with this ruling. Most notably, this also includes very recent legislation, such as the UK’s Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014.”

Ernst, shadow rapporteur for the group on data retention issues, continued: “The legal opinion had been prepared following a request from several MEPs. It also calls for a case-by-case assessment of all EU legislation dealing with anything that is related to what the court calls 'general programmes of surveillance'.”

GUE/NGL Press contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group