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European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association



RD198 - ETNO Reflection Document on Traffic Data Retention

ETNO is seriously concerned over new proposal for a Council Framework Decision re-opening the debate on data retention tabled by four Member States on 28 April 2004. The proposal entails unpredictable financial and confidentiality implications for industry and individual users.

Under the current Data Protection framework, network operators are only permitted to store and process traffic data for a limited period and for billing and other specified legitimate businesses purposes. Any additional storage requirements to meet the requests of law enforcement authorities must be justified in terms of all the costs and benefits for society as a whole: in particular, the requests need to be balanced against the fundamental principles protecting human rights as stipulated in the General Data Protection Directive. The proposed Framework Decision aims to oblige communications companies to undertake large-scale storage of communications data on all users for periods between 12 to 36 months and longer. The data definition used is very broad including traffic data, location data and other forms of data such as subscriber data. The scope is thereby broader than traffic data and location data covered by the Electronic Communications Data Protection Directive, and the area of obligations thus is somewhat diffuse. Communication operators already co-operate with law enforcement and police forces on a case-by-case and individual basis following an authorisation or warrant. This cooperation includes: real time interception of phone conversations, faxes and other forms of communications; preservation of communications data over a certain limited period; and access to traffic data stored for legitimate business purposes. ETNO welcomes the Commission’s initiative to launch a wide Consultation. All parties concerned should have the opportunity to be heard. Discussions in the Council on a general data retention obligation for operators emerged long before the 11th September 2001. It is worth noting that when debating the Patriot Act in response to the terrorist attacks, the United States rejected this approach repeatedly.


RD198 - ETNO Reflection Document on Traffic Data Retention

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Members & Observers - View companies map

  • A1 Telekom Austria Group
  • Albtelecom
  • Altice Portugal
  • BH Telecom
  • BT
  • CYTA (Cyprus Telecommunications Authority)
  • Deutsche Telekom AG
  • Eir
  • Elisa Communications Corporation
  • GO Plc (Malta)
  • Hrvatski Telekom
  • Koninklijke KPN
  • Magyar Telekom
  • Makedonski Telekom
  • Orange
  • Orange Polska
  • OTE
  • POST Group
  • Proximus
  • Síminn (Iceland Telecom Ltd.)
  • Slovak Telekom
  • Swisscom
  • TDC
  • TDF
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telefónica
  • Telekom Slovenije
  • Telenor
  • Telia Company
  • Vivacom
  • AT&T
  • Cisco
  • Ericsson
  • Huawei
  • Nokia
  • Prysmian Group
  • Qualcomm Europe Inc.
  • Verizon

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