These days, it seems that legislation makes it through to become law quite often without due scrutiny – resulting in problematic definitions and implementations that work against the interests of citizens. Thankfully, this proposed bill did receive it's share of due scrutiny that all draft bills deserve.
What the draft forgot to provide
The questions raised indicate that this draft bill did not do a good job on the following points:
– The evidence for data retention?
– Social media, webmail and data retention
– The costs of data retention?
– Not defining 'data' in data retention laws
– Data retention and the drive toward encrypted technology
– Circumventing data retention
The consequences of such a loose definition? It could have potentially opened up the door for companies – in particular more recent, social companies – to store unrestricted amounts of information, without much limitation on what kinds of information, on potentially unencrypted technology. Just one step away from dangling your credit card details publicly on the web. And not just that, but also expensive – a price tag that will have to be picked up by consumers. While storing data itself is not so bad, misusing data is a very large ethical issue, in particular when the data use ends up to be something that the affected person did not expect or willingly agree to, and the value generated from data retention seems to be inadequately justified, at least given the present stand of things.
Ludlam demolishes data retention bill | Electronic Frontiers Australia
At the end of January, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) held two days of hearings into the government’s data retention legislation (transcripts here and here). These hearings were at times a testy affair, with a number of Coalition members particularly being …