BRUSSELS, April 8 (Reuters) - 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)