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Data Protection Leader
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Volume: 14 Issue: 10
(October 2017)

data retention telecommunications traffic data geolocation data


Ireland: Minister proposes draft data retention bill

Ireland’s Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, published, on 3 October 2017, the general scheme of the Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2017 (‘the Draft Bill’), following its approval by the Cabinet. The Draft Bill, which would repeal the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 (‘the Act’) that currently regulates the matter, responds to the evolving jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union and is intended to give effect to its ruling in the joined cases Tele2 Sverige AB v. Post-och telestyrelsen (C-203/15) and Secretary of State for Home Department v. Tom Watson and Others (C-698/15).

Under the Draft Bill, subscriber data is broadly defined as ‘data which identifies a subscriber,’ to encompass different categories of data. Service providers would be required to retain subscriber data for 12 months from the moment they are first processed. Further, under the Draft Bill, the retention of targeted categories of traffic and location data could be required, after a ministerial authorisation is obtained, for the purpose of the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of serious crime or safeguarding the security of the State. For all types of retained data, the Draft Bill introduces a data localisation requirement and an obligation to retain it in a way allowing, where required, its disclosure without delay. 

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