EU: Statewatch analysis: "The European Parliament and data retention: Chronicle of a 'sell-out' foretold?"

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Report by Professor Steve Peers concludes:

If the EP accepts the Council's current position without amendments, it will have 'sold out' its civil liberties principles. More data will be included than the EP had wished, and access to it will be essentially unregulated by EC law - the opposite of the EP's intentions. Data will be retained for up to double the period that the EP wanted, and indeed Member States will be unconstrained in requesting (and probably getting authorisation for) longer periods of retention... Taking the Council's version of the Directive, it is difficult to see what absolute constraints concerning data retention would be placed upon Member States by EC law at all. In principle, Member States could insist on (or at least request) the retention of any type of data for any type of security purpose for any period at all.

There would, in effect, be nothing to show from a human rights point of view regarding the core data protection issues, following the application of the co-decision process to this legislation. The European Parliament now has to decide whether it has the courage of its civil liberties convictions or not.

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