BRUSSELS, April 8 The European Union's highest
court ruled on Tuesday that an EU data retention directive,
requiring telecoms companies to store communications data of EU
citizens for up to two years, was invalid.
"It entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious
interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private
life and to the protection of personal data, without that
interference being limited to what is strictly necessary," the
court said in a statement.
"The Court takes the view that, by requiring the retention
of those data and by allowing the competent national authorities
to access those data, the directive interferes in a particularly
serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for
private life and to the protection of personal data," it said.
"Furthermore, the fact that data are retained and
subsequently used without the subscriber or registered user
being informed is likely to generate in the persons concerned a
feeling that their private lives are the subject of constant
surveillance," it said.
(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)