CJEU rules that authorities may access personal data from electronic communication providers for criminal investigation purposes

“Shell personal data” such as surnames, forenames, and addresses can be accessed by national authorities in the course of a criminal investigation  “when the interference that such access entails is not serious, that access is capable of being justified by the objective of preventing, investigating, detecting and prosecuting ‘criminal offences’ generally.”

Thus, on the 2nd October 2018, the CJEU differentiates “non-serious” data from data that allows “precise conclusions to be drawn concerning the private lives of persons whose data is concerned.”, such as the communication content; location data; date, time, duration, and identity of communication recipients; and frequency of communications between people.

Although accessing, or, otherwise processing such personal data may hinder fundamental rights, which are enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, the CJEU’s view is that access can be justified to fight crime.

Access the full article by Rita Heimes, here.

Photo credits: By Cédric Puisney from Brussels, Belgium – European Court of Justice – Luxembourg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34942382