On 6 November, the Assistant EDPS published his opinion on a new EU legal framework for gathering electronic evidence in cross border cases, calling for a pragmatic and balanced approach when fighting crime.

Recognising that the world has been changed by new technologies, the EDPS stated that law enforcement needs to have access to effective tools in the fight against terrorism and other crimes, whilst ensuring full respect of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the EU data protection framework.

In April 2018, the Commission published proposals on e-evidence that would introduce two types of binding orders for criminal proceedings and would allow for access to data to be stored by service providers to be used as evidence (Protection Orders) or for this data to be preserved by service providers in anticipation of subsequent requests for access (Preservation Orders).

The EDPS Opinion strives to provide the Commission with input on these proposals and, in particular, focuses on the need to ensure that all necessary safeguards are in place when gathering cross-border electronic evidence. Recommendations in the Opinion include involving Member States’ judicial authorities in the process of gathering cross-border electronic evidence, as well as ensuring that data categories in the proposed Regulation are clear and consistent with existing categories in EU law.

To read the full Opinion published by the EDPS please click here.