The Commission has released documents showing that DG Justice harshly criticised the Data Retention Directive even while the Commission was defending it in Court.
According to a DG Justice statement of 2012,
- the evidence -both qualitatively and quantitatively- provided in support of [the Directive] was „insufficient“
- data preservation – ‚quick freeze‘ and ‚quick freeze plus‘ – was „a measure much less invasive in the fundamental rights of much less individuals and is therefore more proportionate than the current rules of Directive 2006/24/EC“
The Commission chose not to disclose those observations to the European Court of Justice but instead submitted observations according to which
- „considerable empirical evidencen attests that data retention is valuable, and in some cases indispensable, for investigating and prosecuting crime“
- data preservation was „less effective than data retention in combating crime“
- „Directive 2006/24 strikes an appropriate balance between the requirements of law enforcement and the need to keep interference with privacy to a minimum by requiring only traffic and location data“
I find it striking that the Commission internally knew well about the disproportionality of blanket data retention but still defended it in Court as though no doubts existed whatsoever. Subsequently to the annullment, Commissioner Malmström even had the cheek to claim that the judgement „confirms the critical conclusions in terms of proportionality of the Commission’s evaluation report of 2011 on the implementation of the data retention directive.“
This is so sickeningly dishonest.
The information and views set out in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Working Group on Data Retention (AK Vorrat).