Czech Republic

Current Status: The Czech Constitutional Court declared in March 2011 that the Czech data retention law, based on the European Union Data Retention Directive (DRD), is unconstitutional. The Court cancelled the obligation of service providers to retain traffic information and localisation data on electronic communications which were formerly made available to police and other authorities. This move came after a complaint was filed by the civic association Iuridicum Remedium (IuRe) Remedium which was supported by 52 lawmakers. Police can currently use only data kept for other purposes, such as billing. In January 2012, the same Court annulled part of the Criminal Procedure Code, which would have enabled law enforcement access to data stored voluntarily by service provider. The Court ruled that the collection of traffic data and communication data equally violated the rights of citizens and deserved the same legal safeguards. Both court decisions help ensure strong privacy safeguards for government access to citizen's data and the obligation to inform individuals about the use of this information.

Public Discussion: The Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic are discussing a draft amendment to the Act on Electronic Communications which seeks to reintroduce the obligation for companies to retain data in order to implement the European Union Data Retention Directive (DRD). In some areas outside the scope of criminal proceedings, such as the right of the police to request data for wanted and missing persons, there is lack of protection against abuse. Activists are pushing to reject the proposal, pass stricter rules on the use of this data and oppose laws forcing providers to retain data for police and other authorities.

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