Retention period of Internet data reduced to six months

The obligation of providers of public telecommunication networks or services to retain internet-related data will be adjusted as of 16 July 2011. From that date onwards, the providers will be obliged to retain these data for a period of six months.

Until now, the retention period was twelve months. The obligation pertains to traffic data on the use of e-mail, Internet telephony, and access to the Internet. The police and the judicial authorities may use these data for the investigation and prosecution of serious offences. The retention period for data on telephony through a fixed or mobile network continues to be twelve months. With this new regulation, the government remains within the limits of the European Data Retention Directive, which prescribes that the data to be retained must be stored by the providers for a minimum period of six months and a maximum period of two years from the date of communication. The retention obligation does not pertain to the contents of the communication, but to the data on contacts and calling behaviour of the individuals, which is referred to as ‘traffic data’.