Stop general data retention in the EU – current plans for mass surveillance

Patrick Breyer, Jesper Lund, Chloé Berthélémy and TJ McIntyre

Playlists: 'rc3-2021' videos starting here / audio

In this joint talk, four internet freedom advocates will expose and criticize current plans for general mass collection of everyone's communication data. 2022 will bring threats to Internet freedoms but also opportunities for civil society to act.

We need to get back to basics: Let's set the default to zero mass surveillance.
**Follow the debate on data retention in 2022:**
**#DataRetention** | **#Vorratsdatenspeicherung** | **#logning**

This talk will provide answers to the questions:

* What is data retention and what are the problems?
* What is the legal situation in the European Union?
* What is the role of Member States governments, the Commission of the European Union and the European Parliament?
* How is the situation in Germany, France, Ireland, Denmark & Belgium?
* What can we expect from 2022 and the future?
* What can citizens do about it?

Speakers (more infos below)

* TJ McIntyre (Digital Rights Ireland)
* Chloé Berthélémy (European Digital Rights)
* Patrick Breyer (Member of the European Parliament)
* Jesper Lund (IT-Political Association of Denmark)

## Data retention plans in the EU and its Member States

By the End of 2021 new documents appeared in public that show how the Commission of the European Union together with various EU member states push for new general data retention obligations [1].
From an digital fundamental rights perspective this is not acceptable. Because sensitive communication and activity data from millions of law-abiding citizens would be retained for no specific purpose. Democratic societies and liberal constitutional states must not enforce blanket mass surveillance.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has repeatedly emphasized this and declared general data retention to be lawful only in limited exceptions. The default must be: no general data retention.

Nevertheless, from documents and the political debate the impression arises, that the Commission of the European Union and some governments of the Member States are trying to run over the rulings of the ECJ and fundamental rights.

Relevant key documents referred to in this talk:
(1) 18 November 2021: CJEU PRESS RELEASE No 206/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Joined Cases
(2) 16 June 2021: WK 7294/2021 INIT Working Paper Contribution to the Council COPEN
Working Party meeting of 16 June 2021
(3) 01 December 2021: Written responses to (2) from: Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Netherlands & Sweden

[1] Definition
General and Indiscriminate data collection (DE: anlasslose Vorratsdatenspeicherung | F: Conservation généralisée des données de connexion) is the collection of the location and communications data of the entire population, regardless of whether they are suspected or accused of a crime.


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