On 23 August 2013, the Act of 30 July 2013 amending Articles 2, 126, and 145 of the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications was published in the Official Gazette. Pursuant to the EU Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC, providers of publicly available fixed telephony, mobile telephony, Internet access and Internet telephony and operators of public electronic communications networks must retain different categories of data, mainly for the detection, investigation, and prosecution of serious crimes by the Public Prosecutor or the investigating judge.

As part thereof, these providers must ensure an unrestricted and swift access to the retained data from Belgium. Furthermore, data that are necessary to identify the end-users, the electronic communication service and the communication equipment must be retained as from the date the service has been subscribed and for 12 months from the latest date of registered communication. Traffic and location data must be retained for 12 months from the date of communication.

In addition, these providers must also ensure that:

  • the retained data must be of the same quality and subject to the same security and protection as those data on the network;
  • the data must be subject to appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect the data against accidental or unlawful destruction, accidental loss or alteration, or unauthorised or unlawful storage, processing, access, or disclosure;
  • the data must be subject to appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure that they can be accessed only by authorised personnel of the Coordination Unit of the Ministry of Justice;
  • the retained data must be destroyed at the end of the retention period.

The Act can be found on http://www.moniteur.be