Retention and disclosure of location information and location identifiers OTT content and communication services
This article describes how Australia’s metadata retention and disclosure regime addresses the retention and disclosure of location information and location identifiers by locally licensed telecommunications service providers and those that do not require a licence to operate in Australia. The article specifically looks at over the-top-content and communication services. The retention and disclosure duties are described in contrast to the powers of the law enforcement agencies to access and use location information from free online social networking services, whereas the law seeks to restrict the retention and thereby the disclosure of location information in respect of over the-top-content and communication services that are not provided by the licensed or unlicensed telecommunications service provider. The paper argues the retention limitations in respect of over the-top-content and communication services are undermined by the actions of the agencies to harvest location information and conduct big data analytics. Similarly, so does the discretion granted to the telecommunications service provider to retain location information in respect of over the-top-content and communication services, provided by a third party content service provider and then be required to disclose it, without any additional safeguards. The actions of the agencies and the discretion granted to the telecommunications companies undermine privacy protections.
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