An inquiry revealed that the new mandatory data retention scheme in Australia still remains unclear for telecommunications and service providers. While it is clear that organisations would need to retain data, it is less clear, for example, whether providers of voice-based web services would need to keep data for two years.
Moreover, the president of the online privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontiers Australia, Jon Lawrence, raised considerable concerns about the proposal on privacy grounds. He said the nature of the data to be retained needed to be articulated in the legislation, and not in a regulation made subsequently by the attorney general.
Additionally, in written submissions to the inquiry, most law enforcement agencies were unable to provide information on how telecommunications data has been used to prevent crime and the age of the data requested.