Sweden fined by EU over data retention directive
An EU court has fined Sweden three million euros for going almost six years past a deadline to introduce the controversial EU Data Retention Directive. After a heated security versus privacy parliamentary debate, Sweden was one of the last countries in the European Union to comply with the directive, which binds member states into storing all emails, phone calls, and text messages sent or received in that country for an agreed period of time.
The EU directive was introduced in 2006 after the Madrid bombings, and is intended to help the police use the stored information in criminal investigations. Any state that had not implemented the security directive by Sept. 15, 2007, would be fined by the European Commission, with the fines adding up for every day of non-compliance.
Sweden finally introduced the legislation in May 2012, with parliament voting to store data for a period of six months.
In a press release today, the EU court announced that it had fined Sweden three million euros for its almost six years of non-compliance and did not accept Sweden's argument that the delay had been due to years of intense national debate over the controversial issue.