The European Court of Justice has declared the Directive 2006/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks (see the full text here) invalid.
The European Court of Justice is not the first court to address the very nature of the Directive. The German Federal Constitution Court ruled that the Directive was unconstitutional and violated citizens’ rights to privacy. The Constitutional Court in Romania ruled that the national implementation of the Directive was unconstitutional. Similar decisions were also ruled by courts in Bulgaria or Cyprus.
The European Court takes the view
that, “by requiring the retention of those data and by allowing the competent national authorities to access those data, the Directive interferes
in a particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and
to the protection of personal data.“
Given that the Court has not limited the temporal effect of its judgment, the declaration of invalidity takes effect from the date on which the directive entered into force. It is now up to Member states to adjust their national legislation to the decision of the European Court of Justice.