German data retention regulations are not compatible with EU law. This is the Opinion presented by the Advocate General in the proceedings BRD/SpaceNet AG, C-793/19. The blanket retention of traffic data without cause is not in line with the principle that retention should only occur as an exception.
In commenting on this Opinion, eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme has the following to say: “For eco and SpaceNet, the Advocate General’s Opinion is an unequivocal confirmation of our stand against data retention. We expect the Court of Justice to endorse the Advocate General’s Opinion in its ruling.”
As a rule, the court generally adopts the opinions of the Advocate General. The court would thus also strengthen civil rights in digital communications, and companies would acquire much-needed legal and planning certainty. A ruling by the ECJ could be expected to be made by February 2022.
As Süme sees it: “The ECJ aside, the next German federal government could set an example by taking up this initiative and instigating the repeal of data retention regulations in Germany. The Advocate General’s Opinion sets a strong signal for this, and it would be a clear statement on the part of the federal government.”