Legal challenge to Government’s Data Retention Law in Court

The judicial review challenge to the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (‘DRIPA’) brought by the MPs David Davis and Tom Watson is being heard today in the High Court. Deighton Pierce Glynn are representing the interveners: Open Rights Group and Privacy International; who have made submissions to the court on the applicable standards of EU Law. In particular, they have drawn the court’s attention to the Data Protection Directive and the E-Privacy Directive, both of which continue to regulate this area.

The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 authorises the Home Secretary to require telecommunications companies to retain all ‘metadata’ (data other than ‘content’) for a period of up to a year from its creation. On subscription services such as facebook, subscriber data may be required to be held for the duration of a user’s use of a service. This makes the data available for public authorities to search. In 2013 over half a million such requests were made.

The law was passed by parliament on an emergency basis in July last year, a little over a week after its announcement and resulting in little informed debate. The Claimants in the case, and Open Rights Group and Privacy International, submit that the law is in breach of EU law and human rights law as it intrudes disproportionately into the private lives of members of the public.

Daniel Carey of Deighton Pierce Glynn represents the interveners.

A copy of the interveners’ submissions is available here.

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