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Where to after Watson: The challenges and future of data retention in the UK

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The judgment of the CJEU in the Watson case was handed down shortly before the year's end in 2016. The determination that member states may not impose on communications providers a general obligation to retain data was applauded by privacy groups and has undoubtedly caused disquiet among those involved policing and intelligence. What parliamentarians and judges will make of it in the coming months - and, post-Brexit, years - is both uncertain and important.

This event examined the strengths, weakness and implication of the decision, with an eye to rights protections, the need to combat serious crime, and the practicalities of managing both in light of the European Court's decision.


  • Professor Lorna Woods, University of Essex School of Law


  • Max Hill QC, Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation
  • Dr Nora NĂ­ Loideain, Director, Information Law and Policy Centre, IALS
  • Renate Samson, Chief Executive, Big Brother Watch
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