The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled lesser criminal offenses may justify law enforcement access to personal data held by electronic communication service providers as long as the data subject's privacy rights are respected. The case stems from Spanish police requesting data identifying the phone numbers of individuals tied to a robbery. A Spanish court denied the request, determining such an action would violate the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The CJEU found while delivering identifying data may impede rights in the charter, “the Court rules that that interference is not sufficiently serious to entail access being restricted, in the area of prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences, to the objective of fighting serious crime.”
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