Inquiry rejects data retention plans


June 25, 2013

Controversial plans to keep hold of data relating to Australians' internet and telephone activities have been sidelined by the federal government following an official inquiry.

The Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security was asked to assess whether it would be feasible to hold onto such data for up to two years in case it was required by law enforcement agencies.

Chairman of the inquiry Anthony Byrne said that a number of key privacy issues would be raised by retaining data in this way.

He told ABC News: "The actual option of a committee being asked to recommend the establishment of an intrusive power without draft legislation provided almost an existential moment for the committee."

He pointed out how important it is for the public to have confidence in such inquiries, which is why it has been recommended that this particular legislation should not be implemented.

This follows comments from Jodie Sangster, chief executive officer of the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising, who said that changes to data privacy laws would put undue pressure on Australian businesses.

She told CMO that bringing in a law that would make it mandatory to report data breaches would add unnecessary levels of red tape to companies that already face issues such as PCI compliance.

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