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Acquisition of bulk communications data by UK agencies precluded by ePrivacy Directive (Privacy International v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and others)

Published on: 07 October 2020
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Acquisition of bulk communications data by UK agencies precluded by ePrivacy Directive (Privacy International v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and others)
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • What was the background?
  • What did the court decide?
  • Case details

Article summary

TMT analysis: The Court of Justice considered the acquisition and use of bulk communications data by the intelligence and security agencies in the UK, and how those practices interacted with EU law. The Court of Justice held that, notwithstanding that measures applied under UK legislation to obtain mass data sets from telecoms and internet providers were in the name of national security, the measures must nevertheless comply with European law, specifically in relation to data protection and privacy. The Court of Justice went on to decide that the measures adopted by the UK exceeded the limits of what was strictly relevant and could not be justified as being proportionate or necessary in a democratic society. This judgment will have an effect not just on the privacy standards surrounding this specific data collection, but on the UK's privacy standards generally, and the hope of obtaining an 'adequacy decision' prior to the end of the Brexit transition period. Written by Charlotte Clayson, partner, at Trowers & Hamlins LLP. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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