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After years of discussion in its parliament, Sweden has approved the EU Data Retention Directive, The Local reports. Sweden's implementation will require Internet service providers and telecommunications companies to retain customer data for six months. According to the report, 233 members voted in favor of the legislation, 41 members voted against it and 19 abstained. The new rule is slated to go into effect on 1 May of this year. The directive has been a controversial topic in Sweden. Green Party MP Maria Ferm said, "The data retention directive doesn't in any way live up to the standards we require of legislation...It's an infringement on personal privacy way out of proportion relative to its utility." Proponents say that retaining user data will help curb terrorism and fight crime. Meanwhile, the European Commission has told Germany it has 30 days to implement the Data Retention Directive or face fines.
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