Language of document :

Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 2 October 2018 (request for a preliminary ruling from the Audiencia Provincial de Tarragona — Spain) — Proceedings brought by Ministerio Fiscal

(Case C-207/16) 1

(Reference for a preliminary ruling — Electronic communications — Processing of personal data — Directive 2002/58/EC — Articles 1 and 3 — Scope — Confidentiality of electronic communications — Protection — Article 5 and Article 15(1) — Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Articles 7 and 8 — Data processed in connection with the provision of electronic communications services — Access of national authorities to the data for the purposes of an investigation — Threshold of seriousness of an offence capable of justifying access to the data)

Language of the case: Spanish

Referring court

Audiencia Provincial de Tarragona

Party to the main proceedings

Ministerio Fiscal

Operative part of the judgment

Article 15(1) of Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive on privacy and electronic communications), as amended by Directive 2009/136/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009, read in the light of Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be interpreted as meaning that the access of public authorities to data for the purpose of identifying the owners of SIM cards activated with a stolen mobile telephone, such as the surnames, forenames and, if need be, addresses of the owners, entails interference with their fundamental rights, enshrined in those articles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is not sufficiently serious to entail that access being limited, in the area of prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences, to the objective of fighting serious crime.


1 OJ C 251, 11.7.2016.