Industry Welcomes Elements of PJCIS Recommendations on Data Retention

Sydney, 27 February 2015 - The recommendations of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) for amendment to the Government’s proposed data retention legislation will, if accepted, generate a net improvement in the planned regime, Communications Alliance said today.

The telecommunications industry is still digesting the detail of the lengthy PJCIS report, but welcomed key elements of the PJCIS recommendations, including moves to enshrine the required dataset within legislation rather than regulation, along with the list of agencies that are authorised to request metadata from telecommunications service providers.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton also welcomed the recommended prohibition on the use of telecommunications metadata in civil law disputes.

“We are disappointed, however, that the Committee has not taken up our recommendation to reduce (to less than two years) the period for which non-telephony data must be retained.

“A two year retention period for these data adds to the increased costs that consumers will face and puts Australia out of line with the rest of the world.”

He said industry would wait to see the Government’s reaction to the recommendations before focusing on technical and operational tasks.

“Recommendations such as that data should be encrypted by service providers or that providers report data breaches will require careful examination, if accepted, to ensure that they can be implemented without undue disruption and cost-effectively.”

“We await keenly the advice from Government on the substantial financial contribution it has promised to make to the capital costs of setting up a retention regime”.


Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about Communications Alliance, see

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Lucy Chamberlain 0402 106 613