AUSTRALIA’s Attorney-General has announced changes to the laws around data retention that will impact on thousands of businesses.
Key points:Attorney-General Michael Keenan says he wants to protect the privacy of Australians, but not at the expense of protecting the rights of service providers and the general publicThe Attorney-Gen says his office has received submissions from businesses, the industry and individuals concerned about how the changes will affect themA proposed bill has already passed the House of Representatives, but Mr Keenan will introduce the legislation in the Senate before it’s introduced to the Legislative Assembly.
He told Parliament on Wednesday that he wanted to ensure that data retention protections were “fully consistent” with Australian law, but that there was “a strong case” for making them stronger.
“It’s not an open question whether there’s some common law right to access that data, or not, but there is a strong case that it is an important right,” he said.
The Attorney General said the Government had received thousands of submissions and had received over 200 submissions from the Australian community on the proposed changes.
“We have received hundreds of submissions on the bill,” he told the House.
“I want to make it clear that we are listening to the views of all of you.”‘
You can’t have the same level of privacy as everyone else’Mr Keenan said the Attorney-Generals own comments were not in direct conflict with the Australian Government’s position.
“The Attorney Generals own position is that they can’t afford to have the level of intrusion and intrusion on the privacy that we expect from the Government,” he added.
“So we’ve asked the Attorney General to make sure that there’s a very clear, very strong level of data retention, and we want to protect that level of personal data.”
Attorney-General says data retention measures should be reviewed, not watered downThe Attorney Minister said there was a “strong case” that the Government should be allowed to continue to retain data on people for as long as it wanted.
“There are some areas that need to be strengthened as well, and the government has been listening to those concerns,” he explained.
“But I want to ensure there is no interference with that, so that there is not a repeat of the mistakes of the past.”
Attorney General says changes needed to keep Australia “competitive”The Australian Government said data retention changes were needed to “keep Australia competitive” in a global marketplace.
“Data retention is vital to protect Australians’ rights to privacy, security and freedom of expression, and to prevent the exploitation of our digital technologies,” the Government said in a statement.
“These measures will protect our online communications and other digital assets and prevent a risk of widespread cyber-attacks, while helping to address Australia’s security challenges.”‘
We want to keep Australian businesses thriving’The Attorney Department said that while the Government was committed to protecting the right to privacy and data retention in the future, the Government would also continue to “reinforce the need for data retention”.
“We will work with the industry to ensure the Government’s existing data retention rules are properly respected, and will work to ensure companies’ and providers’ privacy obligations are enforced,” the department said.
“As we have in the past, we will work collaboratively with the Privacy Commissioner’s Office, which will work closely with the Attorney Department and other agencies to ensure our privacy laws are in line with international best practices.”
Mr Keenam said the changes would help businesses keep up with the times and “stay ahead of the game”.
“The proposed legislation will ensure that our companies remain competitive and that Australians are protected against cyber attacks,” he wrote in a blog post.
Topics:law-crime-and-justice,internet-technology,internet,internet security,technology-and://www,digital-business-services,internet law,internet services,internet regulation,internet laws,australiaFirst posted March 03, 2021 13:55:08Contact Peter BrownContact John KellyMore stories from New South Wales