It said the rule would infringe on basic rights

Telecom companies will not be required to hold onto the communications data of citizens of the European Union for up to two years thanks to a recent ruling. 

According to Reuters, the European Union's highest court decided that such a rule would infringe on basic rights, and that it "exceeded the limits of proportionality."

The directive was brought forward in March 2006 after the bombings on public transport in Madrid and London took place. This would allow authorities to better investigate terrorist acts.

But the rule isn't suited for all in the EU. Germany, for example, has strict privacy rules and could have faced penalties if the court had upheld the March 2006 directive. Germany's Constitutional Court blocked a law in 2010 to store all data for six months, and the government aimed to present a new law.

"The Court takes the view that, 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," said the court.

"Furthermore, the fact that data are retained and subsequently used without the subscriber or registered user being informed is likely to generate in the persons concerned a feeling that their private lives are the subject of constant surveillance."

Sources: Reuters, EU

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