Court scraps Dutch data retention law, says it breaches privacy of telephone, Internet users

A judge in the Netherlands has scrapped the country's data retention law, saying that while it helps solve crimes it also breaches the privacy of telephone and Internet users.

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Wednesday's ruling follows a similar decision last April by the European Union's top court that wiped out EU data collection legislation it deemed too broad and offering too few privacy safeguards.

Under the Dutch law, telephone companies were required to store information about all fixed and mobile phone calls for a year. Internet providers had to store information on their clients' Internet use for six months.

Dutch organization Privacy First said the ruling "will bring to an end years of massive privacy breaches" in the Netherlands.

The government said after last year's European court ruling that it would amend its law.