The Ombudsman, Maria Lúcia Amaral, decided to refer to the Constitutional Court the complaint made in 2017 by Association D3 – Digital Rights Association, which questioned the constitutionality of Articles 4, 6 and 9 of Law no. 32/2008 of 17 July, which establishes a general obligation to retain telecommunications data, the Portuguese organization said in a press release.
The practice, also known as “metadata retention”, is enshrined in the articles of the law in question, which require electronic communications operators to keep all traffic and location data for a period of one year. relating to a communication, except for the content itself.
As early as 2018, the Ombudsman had addressed to the Minister of Justice, Francisca Van Dunen, a recommendation for legislative amendment in order to make Portuguese law compatible with the decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union, however, the Government refused to proposal. After this last opportunity given to the legislator to solve the problem by legislative means, it will now be up to the Constitutional Court to rule.
The decision of Maria Lúcia Amaral comes at a time when the Constitutional Court will publish its decision regarding the regime of access of information services (SIRP – Information System of the Portuguese Republic) to the same metadata of telecommunications, as indicated by a report advanced by Public.