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CJEU Case C-207/16 / Opinion

Proceedings brought by Ministerio Fisca

Policy area:
Information society
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Advocate General
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Electronic communications — Processing of personal data — Directive 2002/58/EC — Articles 1 and 3 — Scope — Confidentiality of electronic communications — Protection — Article 5 and Article 15(1) — Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Articles 7 and 8 — Data processed in connection with the provision of electronic communications services — Access of national authorities to the data for the purposes of an investigation — Threshold of seriousness of an offence capable of justifying access to the data.

Outcome of the case:

In the light of the foregoing considerations, I propose that the Court answer the questions for a preliminary ruling submitted by the Audiencia Provincial de Tarragona (Provincial Court, Tarragona, Spain) as follows:

Article 15(1) of Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive on privacy and electronic communications), as amended by Directive 2009/136/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009, read in the light of Articles 7 and 8 and also of Article 52(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be interpreted as meaning that a measure allowing the competent national authorities to have access, for purposes associated with combating criminal offences, to the identification data of users of telephone numbers activated from a specific mobile telephone during a limited period, in circumstances such as those at issue in the main proceedings, entails an interference with the fundamental rights guaranteed by that directive and by the Charter which does not attain a sufficient level of seriousness for such access to be confined to cases in which the offence concerned is of a serious nature.