A high court ruled that European Union states are no longer permitted to collect various types of Internet information. It is illegal, in the court’s view, for large amounts of electronic information to be retained since it can violate personal privacy.

The ruling comes after a wave of cases filed by privacy activists and organizations including one advocate who based his lawsuit off of information gleaned from the work of Edward Snowden. Snowden raised Internet privacy concerns in the United States. This most recent case spurned the decision by the European Court of Justice.

EU Internet Information Laws

EU internet information laws already prevent any legislation to permit communications companies from compiling traffic or location information as well as any other type of information transmitted online. Companies cannot do this indiscriminately even in the interest of protecting national security interests. The court has won cases over EU states that have asked for companies to be allowed to keep data on private citizens. Such information can only be compiled if there is a suspected crime needing investigation whether the crime is committed by an individual or corporate entity.

The court went on to say that any EU state with a potential and serious security threat can deviate from the new ruling. Obtaining data is permissible if the threat is legitimate.

The high court has previously kept US companies from sending EU user internet information data to its shores. This was done to protect individuals who cannot challenge threats of their privacy being intruded upon when the US government is involved.

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