Conclusions of the Council of the European Union on Retention of Data for the Purpose of Fighting Crime
View of the findings of the reflexion process summarized in the AT presidency report presented at the meeting of the Council and following the Justice Ministers.
Publisher – European Union
Release – May 2019
In view of the findings of the reflexion process summarised in the AT presidency report presented at the December 2018 meeting of the Council and following the Justice Ministers
call at that meeting for further action, the Presidency prepared an outline of the key political messages in the area of data retention which served as a basis for the preparation of the
Conclusions on the matter as set out in the Annex to this Note.
To fight crime effectively today, it is important that service providers retain certain data, besides those collected strictly for their business purposes, that can be disclosed under certain strict conditions for the purpose of fighting crime. However, data retention can infringe upon individual fundamental rights, in particular the rights to privacy and protection of personal data as interpreted by the European Court of Justice. In the cases Digital Rights v Ireland in 2014 and TELE2 in 2016, the ECJ prohibited the EU and its member states from laying down rules that would entail general and indiscriminate retention of data.
All discussion on this topic is therefore guided by the importance of providing effective tools to fight crime, on the one hand, and the need to respect fundamental rights, in particular the rights to privacy, protection of personal data, non-discrimination and presumption of innocence, on the other hand.