On March 18 2015, telephone and internet operator Tele2 will have the data retention law tried in the Administrative Court of Appeals (”kammarrätten”) in Stockholm. Through this we will probably learn whether DLL, the Swedish implementation of the data retention directive, is to be tried in the EU court or not.
In a 2014-10-23 ruling by the Administrative Court (”förvaltningsrätten”) in Stockholm it was found that Swedish rules for data retention do not contradict neither the constitution, nor EU legislation, nor the EU convention. A summary of the ruling (PDF, Swedish) reads:
The administrative court finds that the EU courts ruling should be interpreted in such a way that the data retention directive has been nullified since the deficits found in the directive, in a cumulative assessment, means that the directive does not meet the requirement for proportionality that the European Union law imposes regarding restrictions in freedoms and rights (the right to respect for privacy and domesticity and the protection of personal data).
At present 10 out of 28 EU countries have chosen to either not implement the directive, or implement it but having it overturned in the respective country’s constitutional court.
DFRI has been critical (Swedish) of both the directive and the Swedish implementation, since we opine that it violates fundamental human rights. Below is an incomplete summary of events until today. See also Dataskydd.net’s timeline of the different data retention laws in Europe.
- September 19, 2002: Lithuania’s constitutional court declares an early Lithuanian data retention law incompatible with the constitution of Lithuania: http://www.lrkt.lt/lt/teismo-aktai/paieska/135/ta309/content
- December 11, 2008: Bulgaria’s supreme administrative court declares several parts of the Bulgarian data retention law incompatible with the principles of legal certainty: http://www.aip-bg.org/documents/data_retention_campaign_11122008eng.htm
- October 8, 2009: The Romanian constitutional court declares a Romanian data retention law illegal due to a reversal of the presumption of innocence: http://www.legi-internet.ro/jurisprudenta-it-romania/decizii-it/decizia-curtii-constitutionale-referitoare-la-legea-pentru-pastrarea-datelor-de-trafic-298-2008.html
- March 2, 2010: The German constitutional court rules that data retention is unsafe and therefore illegal: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/defending-privacy-german-high-court-limits-phone-and-e-mail-data-storage-a-681251.html
- May 5, 2010: The Irish constitutional court refers the data retention laws to the European Courts of Justice (ECJ): https://www.digitalrights.ie/high-court-decision-on-our-data-retention-challenge/
- February 1, 2011: The Supreme Court of Cyprus rules the Cypriot data retention law in violation of human rights: https://edri.org/edrigramnumber9-3data-retention-un-lawful-cyprus/
- March 31 2011: The Czech constitutional court declares the Czech data retention law inconsistent with the Czech constitution. https://edri.org/czech-decision-data-retention/
- December 18 2012: The Austrian constitutional court refers the data retention directive to the EU court: http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/workspace/austria-eu-data-retention-directive-102438 Official press release: https://www.vfgh.gv.at/cms/vfgh-site/attachments/4/0/5/CH0004/CMS1363699553901/vorratsdatenspeicherung_vorlagebeschluss_presseinformation.pdf
- April 8 2014: The EU court declares the data retention directive incompatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union: http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2014-04/cp140054en.pdf
- April 9 2014: The Finnish Minister of Communication declares that Finland will revise its laws in order to clean out the paragraphs enacted due to the data retention directive: http://www.helsinkitimes.fi/finland/finland-news/domestic/10120-finland-must-revise-its-data-protection-laws.html
- April 23, 2014: The Slovakian constitutional court rules the Slovak data retention law incompatible with the constitution of Slovakia: http://www.eisionline.org/index.php/projekty-m/ochrana-sukromia/74-us-data-retention-suspension
- July 3, 2014: The Slovenian constitutional court rules the Slovenian data retention law incompatible with the constitution of Slovenia. The court orders all retained data erased: https://www.ip-rs.si/index.php?id=272&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=1256&cHash=2885f4a56e6ff9d8abc6f94da098f461
- July 8, 2014: The Romanian constitutional court rules a data retention law incompatible with principles of legal certainty: http://www.ccr.ro/noutati/COMUNICAT-DE-PRES-99
- December 8, 2014: The Council of Europe’s representative for human rights sharply criticises data retention (see page 22 and onwards): https://wcd.coe.int/com.instranet.InstraServlet?command=com.instranet.CmdBlobGet&InstranetImage=2654047&SecMode=1&DocId=2216804&Usage=2
- March 11, 2015: The court in Den Haag rules the Dutch data retention law incompatible with human rights: http://tweakers.net/nieuws/101839/rechter-stelt-bewaarplicht-buiten-werking.html The ruling: http://tweakimg.net/files/upload/uitspraak-WBT.pdf All Internet Service Providers immediately ceases data retention as a consequence.
- March 12, 2015: A court in Sofia rules the Bulgarian data retention law as incompatible with human rights: http://sofiaglobe.com/2015/03/12/bulgarias-constitutional-court-scraps-data-retention-provisions/ (the ruling is inaccessible)
- March 12, 2015: Dimitris Avramopoulos states: ”On the data retention directive, the European Commission does not plan to present a new legislative initiative”: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/12/us-eu-data-telecommunications-idUSKBN0M82CO20150312
- March 18, 2015: More news regarding a Belgian court action against the Belgian data retention law are expected: http://www.datapanik.org/2015/03/11/nederlandse-rechter-verklaart-dataretentierichtlijn-onwettelijk-volgt-straks-ook-belgie/
- March 18, 2015: The administrative court of appeals in Stockholm, Sweden, decides whether the Swedish data retention law will be referred to the European Court of Justice, or not.
There is also an ongoing case in Poland but it is unclear when it will be finished.