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Industry groups against data retention laws

19 June, 2003

Four major industry groups have published a joint statement against mandatory data retention. The coalition represents worldwide and European businesses including most major electronic communications service providers and manufacturers. They are challenging EU member states on proposals that would require communication service providers to store details of all calls, emails and transactions for use by law enforcement agencies.

In the statement the coalition expresses concern at the overly broad definitions of traffic data and excessive storage periods, costs for industry, technical feasibility and damage to end-user confidence due to privacy concerns and increased security risks.

The statement recommends that European countries favour data preservation (targeted storage of specific data on specified end-users) over data retention (general storage of data for a specified period of time). It also says that any requirement for data storage must be "necessary, appropriate and proportionate" and that "transparent and effective oversight procedures are necessary to prevent abuses and to safeguard public confidence".

A majority of EU members favours a binding European law for mandatory data retention as became clear from the answers to a questionnaire that the EU previously sent to member states.

Common industry statement on storage of traffic data for law enforcement purposes (04.06.2003)

Answers to questionnaire on traffic data retention (20.11.2002)



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