Analysis “Prokuratuur: Access to electronic communications data is legitimate only to fight serious crime and cannot be authorised by the prosecutor” by Alberto Miglio
On 2 March 2021, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Prokuratuur (C-746/18). The ruling provides important clarifications on access to electronic communications data by law enforcement authorities and their use in criminal proceedings.
Under Article 15(1) of Directive 2002/58 (e-Privacy Directive), Member State legislation may provide for the retention of traffic and location data of users, in particular, for ‘the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences’. In Tele2/Watson (C‑203/15 and C‑698/15) the Court made clear that the rights to privacy and the protection of personal data mandate a strict interpretation of this provision. The recent judgments in Privacy Interna