Marie Daly of Covington and Burling writes:
Nine million texts are sent daily in Ireland, a huge increase on when the first text was sent in 1992. All are subject to the data retention and access regime currently in place under the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011. That regime has now been given the kiss of death by the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in its recent decision on a referral by the Irish Supreme Court dealing with the validity of electronic communications evidence collected under it.
The CJEU pointed out that the authority for general retention of electronic communications by an EU member state like Ireland, in relation to its citizens, had to be very narrowly interpreted in order to protect the fundamental rights of privacy, data protection and freedom of expression under EU law. The objective for which the data is retained grounds the authority for which it can be accessed.
So while general data retention may be authorized for threats to national security, it is a step too far when used to combat serious crime. Limited access to targeted retained data can be authorized to investigate serious crime but it must be based on targeted, rather than general, retention.
Read more at InsidePrivacy.