1,000 requests metadata EVERY DAY controversial privateness legal guidelines – as specialists warn of ‘authority creep’ 


More than 1,000 requests for metadata are made every day by organisations including the Australian Federal Police and ASIO. 

Controversial laws were introduced in 2017 requiring telecommunications companies, including Telstra, Optus and Foxtel to store specific metadata on customers.

This most notably includes details on who customers call or text, the location calls are made from and frequent email correspondents. 

While access to the metadata was originally pegged to only be given to 22 specific police and intelligence agencies, new findings suggest more government agencies are requesting access to customers information.

‘There are definitely more than 22 agencies,’ John Stanton from Communications Alliance told the ABC.

While exact figures aren’t clear, with over 1,000 requests per day for the data and with no need to get a warrant for the information, Mr Stanton said the number has definitely increased.    

‘Many state-based agencies have come forward and started using their own state-based powers to request metadata.

‘Authority creep, I guess you might call it.’  

Concerns were addressed during a hearing with the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

The Committee is in the process of determining the value of proposed laws where agencies will have access to devices and data that is password-protected.

Critics of the proposal have argued it forces companies to compromise the quality of their products to give the government a work around way into customers data. 


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