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October 11 2016

Advocate General Finds Member States May Not Breach EU Laws Over Electronic Communications Retention

On July 19, 2016, Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Oe, published his Opinion on two joined cases relating to data retention requirements in the EU, C-203|15 and C-698|15. These cases were brought following the Court of Justice for the European Union 's (CJEU 's) decision in the Digital Rights Ireland case, which invalidated Directive 2006|24|EC on data retention. The two cases, referred from courts in Sweden and the UK respectively, sought to establish whether a general obligation to retain data is compatible with the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection under EU law. In his Opinion, the Advocate General stresses the need to find a balance between a nation 's need to effectively fight serious crime, such as terrorism, against individuals ' fundamental rights. The Advocate General found that a general obligation to retain data may be compatible with EU law, although any action from an EU Member State against the possibility of imposing such an obligation is subject to strict requirements. The national courts are responsible for determining whether or not such requirements are satisfied.