Romania and Data Retention Law 2018 Updated

In Romania, there are no mandatory data retention directives. Romania, being an EU member state also follows the mandatory data retention laws implemented in the European Union.

The EU’s DRD:

The European Union after witnessing several complains about the misusage of internet imposed strict and comprehensive data retention directives in all EU member states. The data retention legislation was imposed on every citizen and on every country. The directives were enforced in 2006 which were highly violating the citizen’s right to privacy.

Under these directives, the country’s ISPs and telecom companies were compelled to obtain and store user’s data for various purposes for six months to two years.

The Romanian Constitution Court:

The Romanian Constitutional Court upon finding that the implemented data retention directives breached the constitutional provisions of Romania declared these directives as unconstitutional. The national legislation enforcing the data retention directives violated obligations protecting freedom of movement, the right to intimate personal life, the privacy of communication, and freedom of expression. The court came to know that the government’s effort to establish the mandatory data retention directives of telecom data by rising undefined danger to national security was illicit and unauthorized. Referring to the ‘’European Commission of Human Rights (ECHR) of 1978, the Court states that democracy would be destroyed on the ground of defending it if surveillance measures would be taken without abundant and necessary protections and precautions.

The European Commission:

The European Commission in October 2011 asked the Romanian government to bring out new legislation transferring the directive, issuing a reasoned opinion under the Article 258 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) which states that if the request is not met so it would hold and support the risk of violating proceedings at the European Court of Justice.

As a result, a new legislation was drafted soon however, it was rejected by the Romanian Senate. The newly drafted laws were criticized in the media while Romanian’s Data Protection Authority had rejected to accept it, professing that these articles relating to the security services were still ambiguous and unclear. The civil society groups along with the government don’t support these laws. The government rejected to sponsor the newly proposed legislate, leaving the Minister of Communications and Information Society to offer it in his role as MP rather than a minister. The Minister of European Affair fully support the newly drafted laws which ran the criticism that it was driven merely by the need to escape approval by the European Court of Justice.

Current Status in Romania:

The Senate vote was not considered important thus, the law continued on its route to the Chamber of Deputies. In May 2012, the law was adopted in the Parliament with 197 votes while 18 voted against it. However, among 332 deputies many didn’t participate in it. Also, there was no discussion of fundamental rights issues in the Chamber of Deputies. The European Commission on 21st Feb 2013 removed the violation procedure which was opened in 2011. However, again in July 2014, this law was again declared as unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court of Romania.

Mandatory data retention laws are helpful at times but they shouldn’t be harsh and violates citizen’s rights to privacy and protection. If you want to know more about Mandatory Data Retention Laws in Romania you can follow this link.
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