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Germany to tighten up on data retention

German policymakers have moved to strengthen data retention laws, insisting that information will only be stored in Germany, and for much shorter periods, after the European Court of Justice struck down weaker EU privacy legislation.

In 2010, Germany‘s constitutional court struck down a previous data retention bill on grounds that it violated users’ privacy by broadly collecting and storing data from all users.

That law allowed for data storage in Germany, or other EU countries, for six months. The new draft bill states that data must be stored in Germany, which has been rocked by revelations over US data espionage since 2013.

It calls for mandatory data retention of telephone use and computer IP addresses for ten weeks. Data that flags a mobile phone user’s exact movements can only be saved for up to four weeks under the draft law.

The EU’s defunct European Data Retention Directive required data storage for between six and twenty-four months. A 55-page draft of Germany’s planned data retention law was published on the blog Netzpolitik.org over the weekend. It is reportedly scheduled to be presented to the federal government in two weeks, and in the Bundestag in June.

The bill said about 1,000 internet and telecommunication companies will be affected by the new data retention requirements. Some smaller ones may be eligible for government subsidies, if the costs of data storage pose a “significant hardship” to them.

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Source: Euractiv

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