top of page

EU Commission releases initial proposal on E-Evidence regulations

Modern day crimes often leave digital traces in some aspects, such as through emails or documents in the cloud. This makes obtaining these digital traces involved in an investigation essential to effective law enforcement. However, the current solutions to providing investigators and prosecutors with this data are not equipped to handle the cross-country data of the EU. According to the European Commission, nearly two-thirds of all crimes involving e-evidence held in other state are unable to be properly investigated due to delays and the destruction of evidence.

To fix this problem, the European Commission has made an initial proposal on reforming the rules for e-evidence.

Although it is a good start, there has been backlash from the private sector, claiming that the new regulations would place the burden of vetting requests on companies and make the process overall more cumbersome for everyone involved. Furthermore, the proposed rules come with hefty fines, up to two percent of a company’s global turnover, have been objected to on the idea that with such a high fine at risk, companies will be paying more attention to avoiding violations instead of cooperating with investigators, which was the purpose of the proposal in the first place.

There are three main factors, which the EU must now consider in moving forward with the proposed regulations. First, there needs to be a standardization of the process for how companies will provide access to the data, how long a company has to process the request and what kind of data is necessary. Second, a streamlined process should be considered for companies to respond to these requests. Creating a secure digital transmission channel for companies to safety transfer the data is vital. Third, the EU needs to take into account competing national laws. Member States national laws often diverge on important topics such as abortion, euthanasia and religious rights. A company would suffer reputational damage if forced to provide data for a crime committed in one state with one regulation while their own state did not hold the same law.



bottom of page