The European Court of Justice has overturned Europe's data retention directive, ruling that it is a violation of people's privacy, TorrentFreak reports.
Under the Directive Internet providers and other telecom companies were required by law to log and store vast amounts of information, including who their subscribers communicate with, and what IP-addresses they used. Local authorities could then use this information in the course of investigating criminal activity. The problem the Directive is that it was also used frequently used by third parties, including law firms filing online piracy cases by using IP addresses.
The case that brought this decision was filed by Digital Rights Ireland.
"The Court is of the opinion that, by adopting the Data Retention Directive, the EU legislature has exceeded the limits imposed by compliance with the principle of proportionality," the Court wrote in its ruling. "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."
With this decision it is now up to individuals member states in the European Union to craft new data retention laws. Obviously broad and far-reaching laws will not survive a test in Europe's highest court...