Privacy watchdog steps up fight against Europol’s hoarding of personal data


An EU watchdog says rules that allow Europol cops to retain personal data on individuals with no links to criminal activity go against Europe’s own data privacy protections, not to mention undermining the regulator’s powers and role.

As such, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has asked Europe’s top court to toss out two amendments to the Europol Regulation that took effect on June 28 enabling this data hoarding by the police.

In court documents filed this month, EDPS claimed the new provisions retroactively legalize Europol’s practice of storing personal data on people not linked to criminal activity — a practice the watchdog has sanctioned the law enforcement agency for in the past, and in January ordered Europol to delete such information.

So in summary, EDPS told the police at the start of the year to not hoard these records, and then months later European lawmakers authorized the practice by updating the rules, leading to the supervisor challenging the amendments.

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