ECJ C- 203 / 15
The European Court of Justice held that EU Member States may not impose a general obligation to retain data on telecommunications companies. According to the ECJ, EU law does not allow a general and indiscriminate retention of all traffic and location data. Member States may, however, adopt legislation providing for the targeted retention of such data as a preventative measure for the purpose of fighting serious crime, provided that such retention is limited to what is strictly necessary.
This judgment follows the ECJ's judgment in 2014, invalidating the Data Retention Directive on the grounds that it seriously interferes with fundamental rights. Despite this ruling, several Member States believed that they were not prevented from keeping or enacting national data retention laws. This gave rise to two preliminary ruling procedures regarding the national data retention laws of Sweden and the United Kingdom (C-203/15 and C-698/15); both cases which were joined by the ECJ and resulted in the present judgment