It was a long-awaited decision. In an 85-page decree, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) confirmed on Tuesday October 6 that national regulations cannot impose on access providers “ generalized and undifferentiated transmission or preservation »Customer login details. Except in the case of ” serious threat to actual and current or foreseeable national security “With data retention” temporally limited to what is strictly necessary “.
A series of exceptions which gives this decision the appearance of ” victorious defeat »In the words of the collective La Quadrature du net (LQDN), one of the plaintiffs with the French data network, the FDN Federation and Igwan.net.
#ECJ: Judgment in cases C-511/18 La Quadrature du Net, C-512/18 French Data Network, C-520/18 Order of French-speaking and German-speaking bars and C-623/17 Privacy International pic.twitter.com/eB95ymLyCt
– EU Court of Justice (@EUCourtPress) October 6, 2020
Concretely, according to European texts, the metadata of Internet connections and telephone conversations of EU citizens (identity, location, date, duration, etc.) cannot be kept indefinitely and uniformly by operators. France, like Belgium and the United Kingdom are thus called to order.
The exceptions to this duty are explained therein. Data collection may target “ persons in respect of whom there is a valid reason to suspect that they are involved in terrorist activities “. Likewise, in the ” fight against serious crime “, A State can” provide for targeted data retention “. However, the CJEU recalls that “ such interference with fundamental rights must be accompanied by effective guarantees and supervised by a judge or an independent administrative authority “.
Probable “abuse “
These exceptions were nevertheless disappointing. If the decision of the CJEU ” outlines a legal framework that is much more protective of freedoms and privacy than the current state of French law “, Writes LQDN, he recognizes” a number of important exception regimes [qui, NDLR] reduce the protection of privacy and will inevitably lead to abuse “.
For the rest, the Council of State ” will have to say whether French law is compatible with this judgment. If there is a need for adaptation, there will be work (by the executive) to see how to reconcile these CJEU standards with the reality on the ground and the seriousness of the threats. », Commented following the European decision to AFP a senior French intelligence official.