A new ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has set limits to government collection of mobile and internet data within the bloc’s member states, in a push against mass surveillance that is likely to cause trouble for the UK because of Brexit.
As part of the judgement, the CJEU established that the bulk collection and retention of citizen data from internet and phone operators was contrary to the EU’s charter of fundamental rights.
What’s more, the court confirmed that the rights defined in the charter effectively rule out national legislation, despite member states having previously disputed the supremacy of EU laws over their own on this matter.
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The only times that governments may be handed their citizens’ personal communication data is in the case of a “serious threat” to national security, said the CJEU.