Data retention: the case against

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security is currently conducting an inquiry into reforms to Australia's interception and security legislation.

The inquiry relates to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979; Telecommunications Act 1997; Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979; and Intelligence Services Act 2001 and began in July this year.

One of the most contentious aspects of the terms of reference include "tailored data retention periods for up to two years for parts of a data set, with specific timeframes taking into account agency priorities and privacy and cost impacts".

Below, Computerworld Australia presents a selection of concerns about the proposals raised during the inquiry.

John Stanton, CEO, Communications Alliance: "We certainly believe that carriers should not be required to create or hold data that they would not otherwise be creating or holding for commercial purposes. And, so far as data retention is concerned, we believe that any move down the track of additional data retention requirements should be based on full cost-recovery from government, just as is occurring today in the UK."