Bulgaria's Ombudsman Refers Internet Tracking to Constitutional Court

Society | April 15, 2014, Tuesday // 15:04|  views

Bulgarian National Ombudsman, Konstantin Penchev, photo by BGNES

The ombudsman Konstantin Penchev referred to the Constitutional Court  parts of Electronic Communications Act regarding gathering of information on users' internet activities. 

Penchev's actions were prompted by last week's decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to overrule the EU Data Retention Directive. The directive was passed in 2006 and required of ISPs and telecoms to store data on all users' internet and communication activities in case the information is needed in a crime investigation. 

The court ruled that the directive  "entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data." 

The Bulgarian Electronic Communications Act requires of ISPs and telecoms to gather and store data on all users' communication activities and traffic and hasn't been amended. 

According to Penchev the act contradicts current EU law and violates   Bulgaria's Constitution, which stipulates the inviolability of the person and private life. 

“The gathered data allows the identification of the person with which the user communicates, the means, time, location, duration and frequency of the communication,” Penchev pointed out. “The analysis of this information can make conclusions on the private lives of people, which, beyond any doubt, is a violation of the freedom of correspondence and private life, guaranteed by the Constitution.”

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Tags: Konstantin Penchev, European Court of Justice (ECJ), Constitutional Court, EU Data Retention Directive, Internet, traffic, communications


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