Menu
Austrian court axes data retention law following EU high court ruling

Austrian court axes data retention law following EU high court ruling

Regulations to fight crime should be in line with human rights, Austria's Constitutional Court said

A court in Austria has ruled that the country's data retention law is unconstitutional as it violates fundamental European privacy rights.

The decision by the Constitutional Court of Austria comes in the wake of a recent ruling of the EU's top court that found EU laws requiring communications providers to retain metadata to be invalid.

Austria's data retention law violates article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights that covers the right to respect of private and family life, the Constitutional Court ruled Friday.

This means that the law will be officially invalidated once the verdict is published by the Austrian chancellor, which will probably happen within a week, court spokesman Christian Neuwirth said. "So you could say this is effective immediately," he added.

Austrian and other European telecommunications and Internet providers are required by the EU's Data Retention Directive to retain traffic and location data as well as related data necessary to identify the user. This is done in order to help law enforcement fight organized crime and terrorism.

However, the Constitutional Court of Austria and the High Court of Ireland doubted the validity of the directive and asked the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) if it violated fundamental privacy rights. The CJEU ruled in April that the data retention directive is indeed illegal.

However, this does not mean that all data retention laws in European member states are automatically void. The CJEU's ruling is binding though for national courts who have to dispose of cases in accordance with its decision.

That is what happened Friday in Austria, Neuwirth said.

Regulations such as the data retention law could be used to fight serious crime, but only if they are in line with data protection and the convention on human rights, the Constitutional Court ruled.

New communication technologies provide new challenges for the fight against crime. However, new technical possibilities also lead to potential threats to people's privacy, and this threat must be countered in an adequate way, the court said.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Constitutional Court of Austriaintellectual propertysecuritylegalprivacy

Featured

Slideshows

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Typically, the New Year brings new opportunities for personnel within the Kiwi channel. 2017 started no differently, with a host of appointments, departures and reshuffles across vendor, distributor and reseller businesses. As a result, the job scene across New Zealand has changed - here’s a run down of who is working where in the year ahead…

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel
​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

Digital Transformation (DX) has been a critical topic for business over the last few years and IDC is now predicting a step change as DX reaches macroeconomic levels. By 2020 a DX economy will emerge and it will become the core of what New Zealand industries focus on. From the board level through to the C-Suite, Kiwi organisations must be prepared to think and act digital when the DX economy emerges in 2017.

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?
Show Comments