Open Rights Group files amicus brief in Hungarian data retention case

Open Rights Group, Privacy International and a group of internationally acknowledged experts have filed amicus curiae briefs with the Hungarian Constitutional Court. The case has been brought by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) against two major service providers, in an attempt to force the Hungarian Constitutional Court to repeal the Hungarian Electronic Communications Act.  

Legal Director of Open Rights Group Elizabeth Knight said: 

"A year ago, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that blanket data retention interferes with our fundamental rights to privacy and the protection of our personal data. ORG has already intervened in a case challenging data retention in the UK and hope to see other European countries repeal national legislation that forces companies to keep everyone's personal communications data."

The submissions focus on the importance of EU law and why the Hungarian law does not comply with it. In particular Open Rights Group and Privacy International emphasise: the carefully calibrated EU rules in the field of data retention and data protection; the importance of the retention of ‘communications data’ or ‘metadata’; the seriousness of data retention as an interference with human rights; and the need for effective remedies in national legal systems to address breaches of EU law.

The final ruling of the Hungarian Constitutional Court is expected in one month.

The amicus brief of ORG and PI can be read here.

The amicus brief of the group of international scholars can be read here.

We would like to express special thanks to the barristers Jessica Simor QC (Matrix Chambers), Alison Pickup (Doughty Street Chambers) and Ravi S. Mehta (Blackstone Chambers) who kindly prepared the ORG/PI”s submission pro bono, and to the signatories of the other amicus brief: Kristina Irion, (Central European University and Marie Curie fellow, University of Amsterdam), Franziska Boehm, University of Münster), Nico van Eijk (University of Amsterdam), Eleni Kosta (Tilburg University), Judith Rauhofer (University of Edinburgh), TJ McIntyre (Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin and Chair, Digital Rights Ireland), Douwe Korff (London Metropolitan University), Ian Brown (University of Oxford), Marie-Pierre F. Granger (Central European University), Natali Helberger (University of Amsterdam), Egbert Dommering (University of Amsterdam (NL), Serge Gutwirth (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Paul de Hert (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).

For more information, email pam@openrightsgroup.org