THE UK OPEN RIGHTS GROUP (ORG) has reacted to a European decision to reject the Data Retention Directive by asking the big internet service providers (ISPs) what they intend to do about it.
The ORG has sent letters to BT, Sky, Talktalk and Virgin Media asking them to explain and clarify what data they keep, where they keep it and what they plan to do with it.
The letter has been shared at the ORG website. It asks that the ISPs respond for the sake of their customers and reminds them about what the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said about data retention and the directive.
"I am writing to you to seek clarification of your approach to retention and use of your customers data, as a result of the European Court of Justice's ruling that the Data Retention Directive is invalid and does not apply as European law," wrote ORG executive director Jim Killock.
"This directive was implemented into UK law by the Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009. Since the European Court of Justice declared the directive outside the competence of the EU treaties, the UK was never required to implement it. Therefore these regulations no longer have a valid basis in UK law."
ORG has two requests for the ISPs. First, it asks each firm to confirm that it is not "continuing to abide by the now defunct Data Retention Directive and regulations".
Second, it asks the firms to publish information about what data they will collect for business purposes, and "how the data assists you, and what time period you will be holding the data for".
Just as the ORG has, so too have we asked the companies how they plan to react to the ECJ's recent decision. We are still waiting for responses from most of the ISPs.
Killock told us that so far the only ISP to respond to his letter is Talktalk, and he explained that the firm has written to the government for advice.
However, a spokesperson for Virgin Media told The INQUIRER, "We are seeking clarification on what this means for us under UK law." µ