Breyer v. Germany (Germany Mandatory SIM Card Registration)
European Court of Human Rights
Application No. 50001/12
On 5 September 2016, Privacy International and Article 19 filed an intervention in Breyer v. Germany before the European Court of Human Rights. The case challenges the data retention requirements set forth in Section 111 of the German Federal Telecommunications Act (Telekommunikationsgesetz, or "TKG", in its versions of 2004 and 2007), which compels telecommunications companies to store identifying information about their consumers. Our submissions discuss how general data retention obligations interfere with anonymity, which is an integral tool for individuals to protect their rights to privacy and free expression. The submissions further describe the importance of anonymity to a democratic society and summarise international and domestic legal authorities that advocate for protecting anonymous speech under human rights standards.