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Switzerland’s: Mandatory Data Retention Laws for The Citizens

The Swiss government has formed strict and harsh mandatory data retention laws for the citizens. The proposed legislation intended to store user’s metadata for a period of 6 months to 12 months.

Switzerland’s Surveillance Law:

Previously, Switzerland’s legislative chambers were in the process of passing a law which would assist the government to keep an eye and have a track record of the citizen’s data either via cable taps at the border and also anyone else by forced storage of connection metadata. This legislation is executed for emails but it will be stretched out to other media. Therefore, in Switzerland, all people will be under observation either they are accused of a misconduct or of a crime. According to the Swiss laws since 2000, the higher authorities along with the law enforcement agencies were allowed to store data on Swiss people’s emails for a term of six months.

The service providers have to pay from their own pockets for retaining the user’s metadata for providing it to the government. Since a large amount of data/information needs to be retained for a long time so, it will be more costly in near future. Although the Swiss government intended to pay back some amount of money it doesn’t cover up the full amount.

Current Situation in Switzerland:

The Swiss government has designed one of the harshest and obstructive data retention laws in entire Europe. The government chambers of Switzerland in 2015 passed some amendments to the present and prevailing surveillance legislation which were commonly known as BÜPF and NDG. With the amendments in the legislation, now the Swiss police have more power to spy on the people of Switzerland. This spying right has now ranged to all formats of communication. This was previously just restricted to emails but now the authorities can hold records of text messages, general posts, phone history, IP addresses, and metadata for 12 months.

There were people who opposed to the law but those who do so were informed and cautioned that the law as written would be permitted to observe and keep an eye on mobile phones and even install trojans on computers, mobile phones and tablets.

Criticism on the Swiss Data Retention Law:

Switzerland’s data retention directives have been criticized to be great extent. People are often of the view that these directives lacks balance and also has an entire indifference for the proportionality principle. The compromises on these laws were only been made where terms were impossible but at the same time, there is a complete absence of crucial examination regarding the restriction of civil rights and freedoms. Since Switzerland’s doesn’t have a constitutional court hence there is not a strong chance that these data retention directives can be challenged in the European Court of Human Rights.


The law enforcement agencies and higher authorities form data retention laws which were for actually combating crime, terrorist, and social evils. In reality, these data retention directives violate the basic rights of citizens and the same thing happens with the people of Switzerland. The authorities keep checking on private and personal information and data of the citizens. To do so they also use threatening technology which is, in turn, a danger to the basic principles of the country’s democracy.
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