03 February 2020
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that German laws requiring the collection of identity data from users of pre-paid SIM cards do not breach the right to privacy.
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"In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Breyer v. Germany (application no. 50001/12) the European Court of Human Rights held, by six votes to one, that there had been: no violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case concerned the storage of pre-paid SIM card users’ data by telecommunications companies.
The Court found in particular that collecting the applicants’ names and addresses as users of pre-paid SIM cards had amounted to a limited interference with their rights. The law in question had additional safeguards while people could also turn to independent data supervision bodies to review authorities’ data requests and seek legal redress if necessary.
Germany had not overstepped the limits of its discretion (“margin of appreciation”) in applying the law concerned and there had been no violation of the applicants’ rights by the collection of the data."
ECHR: Requirement to collect data to identify users of pre-paid SIM cards did not violate the right to privacy (press release, pdf)
Judgment: Breyer v Germany (application no. 50001/12, pdf)
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