Less than 2 weeks after data retention legislation went into effect in Australia, the lower house of Parliament in Germany has voted in favor of its own data retention legislation. The law will require ISPs and telcos to keep customer metadata for up to 10 weeks. This includes phone numbers, duration of phone calls, location of phone calls (4 week requirement) and IP addresses. The law excludes email communications.
The rationale for this law is that police many need this metadata to assist with their investigations, although access to the data would require a warrant. The law prescribes that the metadata must be stored in Germany.
Germany has previously rejected legislation requiring metadata storage, including a “European Union (EU) directive in 2006 mandating that telecommunications operators retain all customer communications data for up to two years.” They ruled this similar legislation unconstitutional.
While the data retention period in Germany is much shorter than Australia’s, the passage of this law continues a scary trend. Data retention is a violation of user privacy, and takes control from the consumer. If you’re worried about your data being kept and monitored, there is a solution – you can encrypt your Internet connection to protect your communications with a VPN.
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