David Ohri

Mandatory data retention obligations become law – some key points

David Ohri

15 April 2015

Confidentiality and Privacy IT

The Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015 (the Data Retention Act) became law on 13 April 2015.  It introduces a statutory obligation for telecommunications service providers to retain specified information for two years (the Data Retention Scheme).


The stated purpose of the Data Retention Scheme is to: ‘create a consistent minimum retention obligation across the telecommunications industry in relation to a limited range of telecommunications data that is critical to law enforcement and national security investigations‘ (revised Explanatory Memorandum to the Data Retention Bill (the EM) at paragraph 224).


The Data Retention Scheme is implemented by means of the insertion of a new Part 5-1A into the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (TIA Act), as well as by making other amendments to the TIA Act and other legislation, including the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Telco Act).


While clearly of major significance to telecommunications service providers, the Data Retention Act has relevance to all people in Australia who use telecommunications services.


This blog post explores the following key questions:


  • What types of telecommunications services will be subject to the Data Retention Scheme?


  • What types of data will telecommunications service providers be required to retain?


  • When will the Data Retention Scheme commence?


  • Who is responsible for the costs of the Data Retention Scheme?


  • Under what circumstances can retained data be used or disclosed?


  • What safeguards are included in the Data Retention Act?


To understand the answers to these questions and read the full blog post, please click here.


Thomson Geer is happy to provide more detailed briefings to organisations that have obligations under the Data Retention Act. Should you have any queries, please contact:


Graham Phillips | Partner | gphillips@tglaw.com.au | +61 3 9641 8639
David Ohri | Senior Associate | dohri@tglaw.com.au | +61 3 9641 8925