In light of the government’s data retention scheme which will allow Telco’s and Internet service providers to keep customer data for two years, Liberal MP Craig Kelly warned the “devil is in the detail”, highlighting the public’s concerns about what data will be kept. Anxieties were exacerbated when Attorney-General George Brandis stumbled over his clarification of the term metadata. Why are we all of a sudden so concerned about our data storage when each day we are blissfully unaware of the digital footprint we leave behind online?
On our own shores, the data retention scheme has been put in place in the interest of combating home-grown and international terrorist threats. Implementation of this extreme measure of surveillance is being justified to eliminate threats to national security. Ironically, this scrutiny is a violation of personal security. The government has a conflict of interest as they have an obligation to protect you and are concerned about abuses, but tempted by access to wantonly exposed data.
The debate over the current regulatory framework and in particular the government’s data retention scheme will continue to dominate the column inches as a balance is yet to be found that satisfies both the governments need for information awareness and that respects a user’s private domain. Looking towards the future, is it possible for governments to guarantee the safety and well-being of users but also respect requests for privacy?
By Christopher Hew – Taurus Marketing