Sweden, on the other hand, demands that telecom operators and ISPs store customer data, such as who they called or what they did online, for at least six months. The actual content of the communication is not a matter for law enforcement agencies.
"Data storage occurs in Sweden indiscriminately based on the assumption that you don't know what happens in the future. The general principal must now be altered to apply only to specific people, an area or perhaps a technique," Daniel Westman, a doctoral student in legal informatics at Stockholm University told Swedish Radio, calling the verdict "a deathblow" to the Swedish habit of storing data.
Shortly after the announcement, Nordic telecom company Telenor decided to waste no time and take action immediately.
"In light of the ECJ preliminary ruling, we decided to immediately cease the storage of data," Telenor General Counsel Anna Byström told Swedish Radio.
Predictably, Swedish law enforcement agencies were not too happy about the EU decision to stop mass data retention.
"We see a great deal of our anti-terrorism efforts amount to nothing," Swedish Interior Minister Anders Ygeman told Swedish Radio, arguing that telecom data was an important tool in modern police work.
"This is a disaster for any criminal investigation related to digital crimes. It is through IP address that we can find a culprit and now that the data storage is about to ends, we have nothing left to clutch at," Thomas Bälter Nordenman, prosecutor in the city of Uppsala and expert on cybercrimes, told Swedish newspaper Göteborgs-Posten.
According to the President of the Swedish Bar Association, Anne Ramberg, the verdict is totally in line with her organization's requirements.
"There is a strong societal interest in protecting the privacy, yet there is an equally strong interest in protecting people from crime. Those interests must be weighed against each other," Anne Ramberg said, venturing ESJ made a right assessment.