11 February 2010
The transposition of the Data Retention Directive in Belgium has remained stagnant for a long time. Following a public consultation in May 2008 on a first draft law proposal and draft royal decree to transpose this Directive into Belgian law, a broad group of organisations voiced a strong position against the Data Retention Directive and the way in which the Belgian government wanted to transpose this into the national law.
Not only did the government choose for a maximal transposition (e.g. a retention period of 24 months), but the Belgian government also chose to extend the data retention scheme provided by the European Directive (e.g. demanding more data to be retained, such as banking data, and allowing access and use of these data beyond ‘serious’ crime). Even the Belgian Data Protection Authority (DPA) delivered at that time, and for the first time ever, a completely negative advice on the draft law proposal and royal decree.
Together with the public campaign on the website bewaarjeprivacy.be, all the above had an impact on some political parties taking part in the federal government, especially the French speaking ones, which made it hard – given the more general mistrust in the Belgian federal government between Dutch speaking and French speaking parties – to find a political agreement on the matter and for the responsible cabinets to proceed without adjustments.Bogdan