FROM today, your digital privacy is no longer your own.
Under the controversial Mandatory Data Retention Scheme, Australian internet and mobile phone providers will be required to store customer data for two years.
Metadata is information about a communication — the who, when, where and how — not the content or substance of a communication.
Metadata includes incoming and outgoing caller identification, the duration of calls and their times and dates, as well as email addresses, sizes and times.
Police and national security authorities will have access to the material.
So what does this mean for you? Here are some scenarios relating to the types of metadata being tracked.
You know all those online bills you pay and concert tickets you buy? From today any information relating to your identity — such as name, email address and billing details will be stored. Don’t worry — your passwords and personal identification numbers won’t be collected.
Metadata will be collected from a range of devices. Picture: Thinkstock Source:Supplied
Are you worried that Big Brother will be keeping an eye on all the embarrassing — or even weird — things you Google? No need: your web-browsing history won’t be collected. Same goes for those risque emails you just can’t help yourself from sending. The source used to send a text, email or call will be recorded — the computer’s IP address, the mobile number — not the actual content. Phew.
You call your BFF for a gossip after a wild night out with the girls. Don’t worry — your actual call isn’t being recorded, just the date, time and duration. For phone calls, metadata includes the phone numbers of the people talking to each other and how long they talked — not what they said.
Shocking … the content of your calls will not be recorded .Source:ThinkStock
LOCATION AND TYPE
Telcos will now store the location of where your texts and emails are sent and received. The “type” of the communication will also be recorded — whether it’s an email, phone call or text.
Although the controversial law has come into force, some phone and internet providers say they are not ready to comply with the regime.
Communications Alliance chief John Stanton says many providers are still waiting to hear from the government about whether their implementation plans have been approved and when some of the $130 million in subsidies will be distributed.