BURIED: Oz gov won't reveal telcos' guess at data retention costs

PWC report won't be shared with committee, even in secret


Australian federal government data retention plans remain in disarray, with the parliamentary committee investigating the legislation being told that the government is not going to had over the costings it's received from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which asked telcos to provide them on Christmas Eve.

In what Australian Labor Party committee member Anthony Byrne described as a “spanner in the works”, Attorney General's Department first assistant Anna Harmer said the PwC consulting report is meant for the government, not for the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (JCIS) nor the Implementation Working Group (IWG – the body comprising government and industry representatives) would get to see it.

In a move criticised at the time, the Communications Alliance distributed the PwC questionnaire on Christmas Eve, and required responses by January 9.

The Register later learned that the document requested costings to store metadata for 12 months and 36 months, rather than the two years' retention period stipulated in the legislation.

Harmer told the JCIS the government intends to make a “reasonable contribution” to the capital costs industry incurs in complying with the data retention scheme, but would not discuss what that contribution might be.

Byrne described the department's inability – or unwillingness – to provide a costing for the scheme as “completely unacceptable”.

Liberal member and former AG Phillip Ruddock emphasised to the committee the urgency the government attached to the legislation, at one point saying he'd like to see it pass parliament within two weeks – which would have the laws passed before the committee completes its report.

The last hearings currently scheduled into the legislation take place today. ®


Keep Reading

Sunday: Australia is shocked UK would consider tracking mobile data to beat pandemic. Monday: Australia to deploy drone intimidation squads

Updated Bloody poms are full of great ideas

Pot, meet kettle: Google claims Australia's pay-for-news plan could see personal data put to nefarious uses

YouTubers advised of opportunity to ‘get involved’ in some kind of push-back

Australia starts second fight with Google, this time over whether app stores leak data, gouge devs, steal ideas and warp markets

Apple also in sights of inquiry that could spark more new laws

Australia to track coronavirus encounters with payment card records

Plan calls to link government data across jurisdictions, even sharing airline records to track outbreaks and people who may be at risk of infection

Australia sues Google over data collection practices that merged DoubleClick data to create single user profiles

Alleges opt-in that promised “more control” actually sent more data without informed consent. Google 'strongly disagrees'

Epic Games brings its Fortnite fight with Apple to Australia

+Comment Why Australia? Because it’s currently running an inquiry into app store monopolies, that's why

Google won’t let Australia have shiny new toys unless it picks apart pay-for-news plan

Pauses News Showcase rollout while it awaits government capitulation

IBM’s Cloud just ruined a perfectly good lunchtime by losing power to a few racks in Australia

Reminder: Top-tier clouds promise they’re really good at keeping power on all the time

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020