On May 25, 2021, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights handed down its judgement in the case of Big Brother Watch and Others v. the United Kingdom, determining that the former surveillance regime in the UK violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (i.e., the right to respect for private and family life).
Continue Reading European Court of Human Rights Says Bulk Interception Is Not a Violation of Human Rights

On July 19, 2016, Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Oe published his Opinion on two cases that sought to establish whether a general obligation to retain data is compatible with the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection under EU law.
Continue Reading Advocate General Finds Member States May Not Breach EU Laws Over Electronic Communications Retention

On March 2, 2010, the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the mass storage of telephone and Internet data for law enforcement purposes is unlawful in its current form.

Since 2008, the challenged law has required telecom companies to retain data from telephone, email and Internet traffic, as well as mobile phone location data, for six months.  This information may be retrieved for law enforcement and safety purposes.  Constitutional claims were brought before the Court by nearly 35,000 citizens, representing the largest mass claim proceeding in German history. 

Continue Reading German Federal Constitutional Court Declares Implementation of Data Retention Directive Unconstitutional

On January 12, 2010, Ms. Viviane Reding, Commissioner-designate for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, was questioned during a public hearing before the European Parliament.  During this hearing, Ms. Reding revealed her priorities in the field of privacy and data protection.  “Fundamental rights and data protection will be top of the line” said Ms. Reding, who explained that she intends to incorporate the EU’s data protection rules into a modern and comprehensive legal instrument.
Continue Reading New EU Fundamental Rights Commissioner Reveals Privacy and Data Protection Priorities in the European Union

Commissioner Viviane Reding has been chosen as Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship in the new European Commission that is set to take office in early 2010 (assuming approval by the European Parliament).  Ms. Reding’s responsibilities will thus include data protection, including the Commission’s ongoing review of the EU framework for data protection.  She