The New Data Retention Laws: What You Need To Know

The New Data Retention Laws: What You Need To Know
SHARE
THIS



The new data retention law came into effect yesterday, meaning mobile and telecommunications companies must keep customer metadata for up to two years.

We at B&T spent the better part of our morning pulling together what you need to know about the new law.

What is the new law?

The new law was passed in March this year. It was first introduced in October 2014 as a further commitment from the Government to tackle possible terrorist threats and security. The changes mean government agencies and the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation can have access to the data without a warrant. However, if the law is trying to find a journalist’s source, they are required to obtain a Journalist Information Warrant first.

The law requires telecommunications companies, such as Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and the like, to retain customer metadata records for two years. The legislation also requires the telcos to encrypt the data and not provide unauthorised access.

Metadata is the information about who you are communicating with, not what the content of the message is. So the metadata of a text message or email would be who is sending it, who is the recipient, the time and the place. But would not include the actual message inside the message.

The Government is not asking internet service providers to keep data on a person’s web browsing history.

Why was the new law needed?

Per the Government’s data retention hub, metadata is used in a number of criminal cases, to either rule out suspects, identifying people, as evidence and so on.

“Australia needs a data retention scheme because telecommunications companies are retaining less data and keeping it for a shorter time,” the website said.

“This is degrading the investigative capabilities of law enforcement and security agencies and, in some cases, has prevented serious criminals from being brought to justice.”

The data retention scheme was apparently needed in Australia because the constant explosions of technology mean some telcos aren’t keeping all types of metadata, which could be hindering criminal cases.

Cost

The scheme was estimated by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to cost all businesses between $188.8 million and $319.1 million each year.

The Government’s data retention site put this at less than one per cent of the $43 billion generated in revenue by the telco industry each year.

In February this year, before the law had been officially passed, the then Prime Minster Tony Abbott said it would not cost consumers and businesses more than $400 million.

“There are a range of figures which have been taken to the joint standing committee, but even at the highest estimate it’s less than one per cent of this $40 billion a year and growing sector,” he told the ABC.

“It seems like a small price to pay to give ourselves the kind of safety and the kind of freedom that people in a country like Australia deserve.”

Privacy

While the issue of privacy has been raised multiple times, the Government is insistent the data retention scheme is protected as personal information under the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs).

The APPs were updated in March last year. The sixth principle underlines the requirements for use or disclosure of personal information, stating the entity (whoever collected the information) must not use or disclose the information for another purpose unless the individual has consented, or it’s required by law. The principles go into more depth, which you can read about here if you would like.

However, many have called into question online privacy.

Contrubuting editor to the Sydney Morning Herald, Quentin Dempster, penned a piece saying it was the end of digital privacy in Australia.

“People are being asked by the Federal Parliament to accept that this regime of agency access is vitally necessary for national security at a time of geo-political tension, jihadi recruitment and the war on terror,” he wrote.

“But in a country where the biggest terrorism threat comes from lone wolves and random acts of terror, it’s a system that appears singularly ill-equipped to catch terrorists. What it does is render privacy a thing of Australia’s past.”

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), the organisation for the media and journalists, recently condemned the move, saying it put journalists’ sources at risk. Read more about that here.

What’s happening with the telcos?

Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens deputy leader and communications spokesperson senator, yesterday said many internet service providers (ISP) hadn’t received a response about implementing the new changes from the Attorney-General’s Department.

“Instead of reinvesting in their businesses to meet the growing digital demands of Australians, ISPs are paying lawyers to try to decipher the data retention scheme and ensure their compliance with legislation that is vague and unclear,” he said in a statement on the Greens’ website.

“Smaller ISPs that serve regional communities may be forced out of business due to the expense that complying with this legislation has forced upon them. This implementation is Attorney-General George Brandis’ latest disaster.”

A Vodafone spokesperson said: “Vodafone is working with the Federal Government to agree the detail of our data retention implementation plan. We expect to complete all of the system upgrades and be compliant with our plan obligations by April 2017.

“Industry is still seeking clarification from government about how funding is to be allocated to offset the significant cost of systems changes and the on-going data retention obligations.

“The privacy of our customers and protection of their information is our highest priority and all customer personal information is handled in accordance with Australian privacy laws.”

An Optus spokesperson said: “Optus has established a significant compliance program and is on track to meet its meta-data retention obligations.

“We are working closely with the Attorney-General’s Department on a range of issues including administrative processes associated with compliance plans, and capital funding arrangements.”

A Telstra spokesperson said the company now has 18 months to become compliant after the approval of its implementation plan:  “Telstra has submitted a Data Retention Implementation Plan (DRIP) to the Attorney-General’s Department,” the spokesperson said.

“The Department has approved this plan, and we now have 18 months to become fully compliant.

“We continue to discuss the funding for this program with the Government and other stakeholders and we are hopeful that there will be a sensible solution that does not impact on our customers or shareholders.”

What the media is saying

Much of the coverage is similar articles detailing what you need to know, however some publications such as Mashable, New Matilda and SBS have pinpointed ways the act can be circumvent.

New Matilda spoke to Ludlam from the Greens, where he was encouraging Aussies to know adapt to an environment where their data is held.

His tips include not using the same password for everything, using online messaging systems instead of text messages, and start using a VPN. Read more about his tips here.

Journalist Asher Wolf wrote about her menstrual cycle on SBS, and why the data retention laws newly introduced will mean that for two years, the telco will know when she called her doctor, how many times etc. It’s  information the government doesn’t need, she argued, and can be a loss of dignity.

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) has condemned the passing of the law, saying it poses a threat to journalists and their sources. Read more about that here.

Twitter reactions


http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/10/13/comment-nothing-hide-data-retention-dignity-and-tampons

Latest News

Daylight Agency Appoints Shelley Hammond As Director Of Agency Operations
  • Media

Daylight Agency Appoints Shelley Hammond As Director Of Agency Operations

The Daylight Agency’s significant growth has continued with the appointment of Shelley Hammond as Director of Agency Operations. Shelley is a leader in the global communications industry and brings vast experience following senior roles in major corporates as well as the agency environment. Shelley will be responsible for the commercial running of Daylight including client retention and […]

Host/Havas Takes Out Cannes Grand Prix With Palau Pledge
  • Advertising

Host/Havas Takes Out Cannes Grand Prix With Palau Pledge

Host/Havas has secured Australia’s first grand prix award at Cannes overnight, taking out the top gong for the direct lions with its work Palau Pledge. The work, which sees all visitors to the tiny island nation have their passport stamped with a pledge to be a good environmental citizen, which they must sign before entering […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ridley Scott Unveils New Directors Showcase At Cannes
  • Media

Ridley Scott Unveils New Directors Showcase At Cannes

Curated this year by Ridley Scott, famed director of Alien, The Martian and other classics, The New Directors Showcase at Cannes is now in its 28th year. Acting as a platform for talented new directors to have their work premiered to a global audience, Scott took to the stage in front of a full house […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
ANZ, PHD & JCDecaux Harness The Power Of Data
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

ANZ, PHD & JCDecaux Harness The Power Of Data

ANZ and media agency PHD have partnered with JCDecaux to launch a unique campaign that harnesses the power of data across three cities incorporating actual tram, train and bus timetable information to align with the new ANZ App.

Report: Consumers Are Hitting Play On Mobile Video
  • Technology

Report: Consumers Are Hitting Play On Mobile Video

Ooyala survey finds media companies created and processed nearly three times as much video content in Q1 as Media Companies Created & Processed Nearly Three Times As Much Video Content in Q1 2018 vs. Q1 2017.

MercerBell Calls In Two New Data Hires
  • Marketing
  • Technology

MercerBell Calls In Two New Data Hires

Proving many photos shot on an iPhone so often come out washed-out and grainy comes this article's accompanying pic.

Intrepid Travel Go Back 30 Years, Posting Classified Adverts In Newspapers
  • Campaigns

Intrepid Travel Go Back 30 Years, Posting Classified Adverts In Newspapers

Intrepid Travel has gone back in time and is placing classified adverts for a new ‘mystery expedition’ to places that yet mapped by Google.  The adverts to be placed in Courier Mail, Herald Sun and Sunday Telegraph are calling for intrepid people to join a journey with “long travel days, intermittent electricity, no Wi-Fi, cold […]

Watching tv and using remote control
  • Advertising
  • Media

GroupM Investment Forecast For Australia: TV On The Rise As Digital Slips

GroupM has updated its 2018 ad investment forecasts and released its initial 2019 outlook. GroupM predicts $24B in net new advertising investment this year, the best annual increment since the bounce back from the global recession in 2010 when $26B was added to investment. GroupM estimates total advertising investment will grow by 4.5 per cent this year […]

Indigenous Campaign Deemed Too Controversial By APN Media To Run
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Indigenous Campaign Deemed Too Controversial By APN Media To Run

Aboriginal Victoria’s campaign in support of Australia’s first-ever treaty legislation, Deadly Questions, has been deemed too controversial to run by one of Australia’s leading outdoor media providers, APN Media. Online platform Deadly Questions provides a safe space for people to ask questions and have them answered by Aboriginal Victorians, to learn more about their cultures, […]

Introducing: YouTube Music Australia
  • Technology

Introducing: YouTube Music Australia

The wait is over! Starting today, YouTube Music is available to everyone in Australia, New Zealand, the U.S, Mexico and South Korea in addition to 12 new countries including Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Now fans around the world can find more of the music […]

Will PR Finally Earn Its Stripes At Cannes This Year?
  • Opinion

Will PR Finally Earn Its Stripes At Cannes This Year?

In this guest post, Haystac’s national general manager, Jason Carnew (pictured below), says with all this talk of Cannes at this time of year, it’s a kindly reminder that the PR business needs to get its act together in terms of awards, work and judging… All eyes on are Cannes as some of the best […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ex-DDBer Unveils Designer Headscarves For Cancer Survivors
  • Campaigns

Ex-DDBer Unveils Designer Headscarves For Cancer Survivors

Two-times cancer survivor, Frankie Good Stuff Award Winner, ex-DDBer and founder of Bravery Co. Emily Somers has collaborated with a range of top-notch illustrators to produce Australia’s first range of designer headscarves for young cancer warriors. She is now crowdfunding $40,000 to produce the scarves and donate one to all the young women in their 20’s […]

New Advertising Platform Launches Down Under
  • Advertising

New Advertising Platform Launches Down Under

Following its massive success in Europe, Asia and the UAE, the Polishoe concept, which brings a high-demand shoe polish service and HD digital advertising platform together, has landed in Australia.

Women In Media Profile: Aimee Buchanan
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Aimee Buchanan

No Women in Media series would be complete without the irrepressible Aimee Buchanan. Read all her pressibles here.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Set for blue sky, different clouds icons, cloud shapes, labels, symbols, icons. Flat graphic vector elements
  • Technology

PubMatic Unveils Cloud for Publishers And Tech Companies

PubMatic has launched PubMatic Cloud for publishers and tech companies looking to implement and control their own programmatic technology. By accessing PubMatic’s technology, global infrastructure and demand connections on a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) basis, clients are able to achieve full transparency and achieve greater control over their programmatic monetization. As programmatic trading becomes mainstream, innovations such as […]

Women In Media Profile: Claudine Hall
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Claudine Hall

The Women in Media Awards are back for 2018! To celebrate this wonderful fact, and to recognise some of the killer women in our industry, we’ve created a women in media series – and have profiled some pretty inspiring women so far. This week, we chat with Bauer Media head of trade marketing Claudine Hall. […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cancer Council and Target Tradies Tackle On-The-Job Skin Cancer Risks
  • Campaigns

Cancer Council and Target Tradies Tackle On-The-Job Skin Cancer Risks

Workers on construction sites receive five to 10 times more UV exposure every year compared to indoor workers. Target Tradies and Cancer Council have announced the launch of a partnership to help educate Australian construction workers about the importance of being SunSmart at work. With evidence showing that outdoor workers receive five to 10 times […]