EU Law Enforcement Data Access

The EU is considering proposals for legislation allowing law enforcement agencies access to data across the EU. There is no official document yet. The Commission will present policy options at the end of 2017 or early 2018.

Options for data transfers

The EU’s Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova has proposed three options for expediting data transfers from internet companies:

1. Allowing police in one EU state to directly ask a firm in another state for data without consulting the state’s authorities

2. Forcing tech firms to share data with any force, regardless of where within the EU they reside

3. Giving forces direct access to servers so they can retrieve and copy data themselves

Ms Jourova said that “This third option is kind of an emergency possibility which will require some additional safeguards protecting the privacy of people,” the proposals would inform future legislation.[1]

The declarations indicate that there will be law, judging by the need to have a single regime, likely a regulation. This seems impossible to pass before Brexit.

The EU justice ministers discused the proposals and were also expected to discuss the types of data that could fall within the scope of the law – such as geolocation or personal data. Personal data hear appears to mean content, i.e. intercept, vs communications data.

The main source is a Reuters article.

External links