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EU member country laws on the retention of communications data for law enforcement purposes should comply with the bloc's data protection standards and with privacy rights, according to an EU Court of Justice opinion.

Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe, an ECJ Advocate General, said that even though the ECJ in April 2014 invalidated the EU's Data Retention Directive (2006/24/EC), EU countries were not prevented from adopting national data retention laws, as long as the criteria are met.

The EU Data Retention Directive required EU countries to put in place laws obliging telecommunications companies and Internet service providers to retain certain unique user data for up to two years, and to provide it to law enforcement authorities if requested for the purposes of combatting crime and terrorism. The ECJ invalidated the directive on the basis that it permitted indiscriminate bulk retention of data and contravened EU privacy rights.

By Stephen Gardner. A version of this article was published by Bloomberg BNA. Read the article in full at

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