On 8 April 2014, the Court of Justice declared the directive n° 2006/24/EC on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available communications services or of public communications networks and amending Directive 2005/58/EC (the "Data Retention Directive") invalid.
The Data Retention Directive required operators to retain certain categories of data, allowing the identification of users and the access to details of phone calls and emails, but excluding their content, during a period of 6 months (as Luxembourg chose to implement) to 2 years. Such data could then be used by the public authorities for the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of "serious crimes", as defined by each Member State.
The Irish High Court had been seized by Digital Rights Ireland Ltd, regarding the legality of national retention measures. The proceeding before the Austrian Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichthof) was related to the compatibility of the Data Retention Directive with the Austrian Constitution.
Both thus asked the Court of Justice to assess the validity of the Data Retention Directive, especially with regards to the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The Court of Justice decided that the Data Retention Directive was incompatible with the fundamental right to respect for private life, as well as...