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EU moves to impose €315k-a-day fines on Germany

Germany has had “a considerable amount of time” to bring data retention directive into law but still hasn’t done so, says European Commission.

Image: tiseb via Creative Commons

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION is referring Germany to the European Court of Justice over the state’s failure to comply with an EU directive on data retention.

Under the directive, telecoms companies must store records of emails and phone calls and to make that data available “for the purpose of the investigation, detection and prosecution of serious crime, as defined by each member state in its national law”.

The Commission said today that it wants to impose fines which build up as a daily penalty of over €315,000 for each day that Germany does not comply with the directive. It said it has applied to the court to request the imposition of the penalties.

A German national law transposing the directive was annulled by the German Federal Constitutional Court two years ago, but the EU Data Retention Directive, which was adopted in the EU in 2006, has still not been transposed into German law.

In a statement today, the Commission said it had warned Germany in March that it would request the imposition of fines and that since then, “German authorities have not indicated how and when they will adopt new legislation that fully complies with the directive”.

The Commission also said that it is ending similar proceedings against Austria after receiving notification of it fully transposing the directive. It is partially withdrawing a case against Sweden, it said, because although the country has fully transposed the directive, the EU still wants to impose a lump sum fine for the delay involved.

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