NGO report claims that data retention in Germany is not effective

According to the report:

With data retention in effect, more serious criminal acts (2009: 1,422,968) were registered by police than before (2007: 1,359,102), and serious offences were cleared less often (2009: 76.3%) than before the retention of all communications data (2007: 77.6%).

User avoidance behaviour can explain the counterproductive effects of blanket data retention on the investigation of crime: In order to avoid the recording of sensitive information under a blanket data retention scheme, users begin to employ Internet cafés, wireless Internet access points, anonymization services, public telephones, unregistered mobile telephone cards, nonelectronic communications channels and such like. This avoidance behaviour can not only render retained data meaningless but also frustrate more targeted investigation techniques that would otherwise have been available to law enforcement. Blanket data retention can thus be counterproductive to criminal investigations, facilitating some, but rendering many more futile.

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