The Legislative proposal (Bill) for implementation of the European Directive on Data Retention overlooks the requirements imposed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). Article 8 of the ECHR sets out the fundamental rights of citizens to respect for their private life. The government may only infringe on that right to the extent that it is necessary in a democratic society. The Bill prescribes that providers of telecom services must retain telephone and e-mail information for 18 months and have it available for investigating, detecting and prosecuting serious crime. Retaining historical telephone and Internet information on every citizen in the Netherlands is an extremely radical measure, whose need must be demonstrated irrefutably. In the opinion of the Dutch Data Protection Authority (Dutch DPA) [ College bescherming persoonsgegevens (CBP)], the need for a retention period of 18 months has not been demonstrated satisfactorily.
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