Data Retention – update

By way of update to my earlier data retention post, five points. First, Simon over on Tuppenceworth has made available, with permission, a recent Sunday Times piece (25 February 2007; pdf) on the issue (kudos, Simon). Second, this led to the Labour party’s press release last week (welcomed here by Digital Rights Ireland (DRI)). Third, the Dutch Data Protection Authority has raised serious doubts about the EU Data Retention Directive (pdf) (thanks to Antoin for bringing this to my attention offblog).

Fourth, Karlin has written another hard-hitting piece in the Irish Times (2 March 2007; sub req’d; but it might be available here) on the government’s inaction in the face of DRI’s litigation. A flavour: under the headline “Retention of mobile data a threat to everyone’s privacy”, she concludes:

… it has taken a long, long time for politicians to finally scrutinise this appalling piece of legislation. A tiny handful challenged it in the Dáil, and silence greeted its passage two years ago. Last summer, the Data Protection Commissioner’s office revealed that requests for records were coming in by the thousands from gardaí, expressed concern at the lack of oversight in the process, and still, politicians said nothing. It has taken a reiteration of the same information – that some 10,000 requests are made annually – finally to galvanise some debate. Let’s hope some more voices join in as the court case moves forward.

Finally, picking up on Karlin’s piece, Public Enquiry argues that, as a consequence of this figure of “an incredible 10,000 requests a year” we should be very afraid. He’s absolutely right.