German Authorities Publish Traffic Data Retention Guide for Telecoms
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On September 27, 2012, the German Federal Network Agency, the Bundesnetzagentur (or “BNetzA”), together with the German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection, published a guide on traffic data retention. The guide, which is aimed at telecom providers, includes a comprehensive chart that clarifies data retention periods for different types of services, such as telephone, SMS, Internet and email, and their respective types of traffic data (e.g., mobile identification numbers, IP addresses and International Mobile Equipment Identity data) based on the purposes for the data storage.

Although the BNetzA and the Commissioner hope that the guide will lead to a more unified interpretation of German telecommunications law and a “best practice” approach, they acknowledge that the guide will need to be adapted as technologies develop. Accordingly, the guide is intended only to provide recommendations, and the publishers note that telecom providers should explore shorter traffic data retention periods whenever technology permits.


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