1. This Directive lays down the rules relating to the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, including the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security.
2. In accordance with this Directive, Member States shall:
(a) protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons and in particular their right to the protection of personal data; and
(b) ensure that the exchange of personal data by competent authorities within the Union, where such exchange is required by Union or Member State law, is neither restricted nor prohibited for reasons connected with the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data.
3. This Directive shall not preclude Member States from providing higher safeguards than those established in this Directive for…