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Mandatory Data Retention in Slovakia

The law enforcement agencies in different countries are now introducing various data retention laws which compel the internet service providers and telecommunication companies to retain the user’s data for a certain time period and later give the access of this data to higher authorities or law enforcement agencies for the purpose of combating crime, terrorism, and domestic issues at times too.

The European Union adopted the mandatory data retention legislation back in 2006. The European Union forces its member state for implementing the data retention directives (DRD). The European Union introduced the data retentions directives after getting several complaints about the misusage of internet and communication devices which resulted in an increasing rate in criminal activities.

Data Retention Laws in Slovakia:

Slovakia being an EU member state adopted the EU Data Retention Directives. These directives compels the Member States of the European Union to implement laws which would force the internet service providers (ISPs) and telecom companies working in Europe to obtain and store user’s incoming and outgoing phone numbers, IP address, data location, along with other network data for a period of six months to two years.

However, in Slovakia, the legislation forces the ISP’s and telecom services to keep a check on the communications of all citizens. This also includes those citizens who were not suspected or convicted of any crime, and in any case, the officials or law enforcement demand them for any reason. Now, the service providers are forced to store data of other networks, data location, and information about the communication parties for six months in case of email, internet, and VoIP communication or for a year if the data is of other communication.

The European Information Society Institute:

A group of Slovakian member Parliamentarian’s which were supported by the European Information Society Institute in August 2012, filed a legal complaint against the legislation enforcing the data retention directives. In the complaint, it was asked by the Slovak Constitutional Court to inspect either the laws enforcing the directives and dealing with access by the higher authorities to preserve data are well-matched with the constitutional provisions on proportionality, along with the rights of privacy, safety and security of data and provisions allowing the freedom of speech. It also claims that the measures violate provisions assuring privacy, data protection and freedom of expression in Slovakian human rights law, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. However, the complaint hasn’t been resolved yet.

The European Information Society Institute (EISi) was the actual pioneer who filed the complaint against these data directives. Moreover, they have supported this fight for the last two years. In one of the declaration by one of the Lawyer, Martin Husovec of the EISi said:

After the General Prosecutor’s Office twice rejected our request to file this complaint before the Slovak Constitution Court, we had no other option than to prepare the template submission before the Constitutional Court ourselves and address the Member of Parliaments. The liberal member, Martin Poliacik, took a lead and persuaded other MPs. After two years of our hard work, we now have the case before the Constitutional Court.’

Martin Poliacik


Due to these data retention directives, user’s privacy and secrecy are at great risk and danger. It has been proven to infringe the privacy rights of millions of people in Europe. There are many courts in Europe who have shown a positive response against these laws. The collection of communication data of both ordinary and non-doubted people cannot be accepted in a country where freedom is valued.
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