You’ll be shocked at who can access your data

Dozens of organisations can access your data under the guise of preventing criminal activity.

You’ll be shocked at who can access your data

Telecommunications industry group Communications Alliance has published a list of the organisations that can access your metadata under the guise of preventing criminal activity.

Put simply, metadata is data that describes and gives information about other data.

Phone metadata refers to information about a phone call, such as when it was made, whom it was made to and from, where it was made and how long it lasted.

Internet metadata is a more complicated area, which has been anything but clarified by our politicians. It typically relates to similar information, such as what website a person accessed, for how long, where they accessed it from and any online aliases they may use.

Dozens of state and federal departments and agencies are qualified for warrant-free access to your metadata and information kept by telcos and internet providers, since the 2015 legislation that introduced the data retention regime was implemented.

However, Communications Alliance chief executive John Stanton said that there has been “some authority creep, I guess you might call it, in the period since the data retention regime came into place”, he said, referring to the increasing number of organisations that have requested data access.

Section 313 of the Telecommunications Act requires telcos to “give officers and authorities of the Commonwealth and of the states and territories such help as is reasonably necessary” for “enforcing the criminal law and laws imposing pecuniary penalties”, “assisting the enforcement of the criminal laws in force in a foreign country”, “protecting the public revenue”, and “safeguarding national security”.

However, in addition to police agencies and other organisations listed in the data retention legislation, organisations such as Centrelink, the Australian Taxation Office, Australia Post’s Corporate Security Group, Workplace Health and Safety, Work Safe Victoria, the Taxi Services Commission and a number of local councils also now have access to information about your phone and internet activity.

The following is the full list published by Communications Alliance:

  • Australian Crime Commission

  • Australian Border Force


  • AFP

  • AFP ACT Policing

  • AFP Professional Standards

  • AFSA

  • ASIC

  • Australian Tax Office

  • Australia Post Corporate Security Group

  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

  • Bankstown City Council

  • Brisbane City Council

  • Centrelink

  • Consumer & Business Affairs – Vic

  • Corrections Intelligence Group – NSW

  • Crime and Misconduct Commission

  • Customs

  • Department of Agriculture

  • Department of Defence

  • Department of Environment and Conservation WA

  • Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources

  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection

  • Dept Fair Trading NSW

  • Dept Fair Trading – Brisbane

  • Dept of Commerce WA

  • Dept of Families, Housing Community Services

  • DIBP Brisbane

  • DIBP Canberra

  • DIBP Melbourne

  • DIBP Qld

  • DIBP Sydney

  • FACS

  • Fairfield City Council

  • Fair Work Building and Construction

  • Healthcare Complaints Commissions

  • IBAC

  • ICAC Sydney

  • NSW CC


  • NSW Office of State Revenue

  • NSW Police

  • NSW Police Professional Standards

  • NSW Government Trade, Investment, Resources and Energy

  • NT Police


  • Office of Environment & Heritage

  • Office of State Revenue NSW

  • Police Integrity Commission – NSW

  • Primary Industries and Resources SA

  • Primary Industries NSW

  • Primary Industries Qld

  • Primary Industries Vic

  • Qld Department of Fair Trading

  • Qld Transport

  • Queensland Police Service

  • Racing Integrity Vic

  • Regional Illegal Dumping Squad

  • Rockdale City Council

  • SA Fisheries


  • SA Police Anti-Corruption

  • SA Police Internal Investigation Branch

  • SA Police State Intelligence

  • Tas Police

  • Tas Police Internal Investigations

  • Taxi Services Commission

  • Transport Accident Commission Melbourne

  • Vic Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

  • Vic Department of Justice

  • Vic Department of Health and Human Services

  • Vic Police Ethical Standards

  • Vic Institute of Teaching

  • Vic Police

  • Vic Sheriff’s Offices

  • WA CCC

  • WA Department of Fair Trading

  • WA Fisheries

  • WA Police State Intelligence Division

  • Work Safe Vic

  • Workplace Health & Safety

Read more at Computerworld

Were you aware that all of these organisations have access to your data? Of these organisations, which do you think are over-reaching with their authority?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    15th Nov 2018
    Some of the organisations which can access data which has no bearing on the organisation's operation is disgraceful and this is the brainchild of the Turnbull government.
    Voters need to watch the gradual eroding of freedom in this country orchestrated by a dictatorship in the formation stage. That's why I keep harping on the fact that we need to turf this lot before they enslave us. That will be a protracted project but we all need to think of the lobster in the pot. The water temperature rises slowly and before we know it we will be cooked. What then? Flee to New Zealand?
    15th Nov 2018
    This is what we can expect from Right-wing governments - as history shows.
    15th Nov 2018
    Knows-a-lot this is not right or left wing - as much as you would like it to be an election issue.
    You can thank a handful of extremists giving politicians a latch to spear fear into the community and making it OK to watch everybody.
    Once "the enemy" is within it does become necessary for more security ...and so this is where we are today. It's a pity but that's just the way it is.
    15th Nov 2018
    Rosret - Abbott and Turnbull were at the helm when all the attacks on individual freedoms have occurred. It was not accident and as I said they intend stripping away freedoms layer by layer until they're all gone. The real irony is that Turnbull HID the incomes of the top end from media scrutiny by putting a firewall in place. Now not even journos can catch out the crooked top end of town.
    THIS IS RIGHT WING because this is who has been engineering one assault after another.
    15th Nov 2018
    Agree Mick, sad that the best years have gone! What are we or rather future generations in for!
    15th Nov 2018
    greed Mick. I think enslaved is a little strong but paving the way or making it easier for them to stay in power is the more likely course. Brandis had no idea what Metadata is which demonstrates the level of understanding our pollies have of such matters. Turnbull liked to give the impression he was up to speed on tech but he was not and it showed. Will the Labor folks do any better ? Sadly I think not.
    15th Nov 2018
    Hi Mick & fordyoot,
    You both have good points of view. What is the answer? The question asked;
    "Will the Labor folks do any better"? Sadly I think not. I Agree.
    Karl Marx
    15th Nov 2018
    Comrade Sen.Cit.89, Labour voted with the government.
    15th Nov 2018
    The answer Sen.cit.89 is softly softly.
    We are forced to sign the privacy policy "or else" so there is no point in having one.
    Computer software programmers are clever however it really seems as though no one is standing over them saying - however you must preserve the individuals financial and personal privacy.
    The government want to track us, commercial interests want to track us and short of trying to manage one's affairs off the grid it's almost impossible.
    China is tracking the individuals every movement in their own country and giving them an achievement number. - Will that be us soon too?
    15th Nov 2018
    Karl: It's Labor, comrade, not "Labour". That mob are in England.
    Karl Marx
    15th Nov 2018
    I have corrected the misspelling from the Americanism to proper Queens English, LABOUR
    15th Nov 2018
    Ugh. It is Labor Party and we labour each day at work.
    15th Nov 2018
    Fordyoop - staying in control/power is necessary to achieve domination. Greed and fraudulent behaviour follows. You may want to ponder WHY Offshore Tax Shelters, a known fraudulent scheme to avoid paying tax, is allowed and never stopped.
    This is political and the LNP with their business collusion are up to their eyeballs in this corruption.
    15th Nov 2018
    So no point in panicking about opting out lol! Might as well just relax and know that this has been going on since time immemorial or the advent of the internet and phone.
    15th Nov 2018
    Except if you would like privacy from the rest of your family viewing your data or perhaps your children may like some privacy from their family in the next 130 years.
    15th Nov 2018
    We all need to do our bit Paddington.
    I've been harping on about e Federal ICAC for over 2 years and it finally looks like something is happening on this front. Not under the current government but as soon as Labor gets in.

    The Offshore Tax Shelters will go and I'll keep on about it until the bastards take notice and are pushed.
    15th Nov 2018
    There is an online Educational App called Edmono.
    I wanted to check it out for the grandchildren. When I went to sign in Google stepped in and said, Edmono will have access to all your files and folders on Google drive and your contact list.
    I didn't sign up and yet every time I went to close down my computer a message saying Edmono was still open was posted from Microsoft. Finally I did a clean up of my history and its gone. - However, by golly - user beware.
    15th Nov 2018
    Also the well used phone app WhatsApp accesses all of your & your friends details stored in your phones contacts. There are a number of other apps/programs that do this too.
    Google traces you all over the net, between Google Chrome, Gmail, YouTube etc. The only anonymous browser that I know of at the moment is DuckDuckGo.
    pedro the swift
    15th Nov 2018
    Chairman Mao would have to change his saying that "power grows from the barrel of a gun" and make it that "power grows from the control of the keyboard".
    I don't think "enslaved" is too strong. Just watch this space!
    15th Nov 2018
    So true. - So much cheaper and far reaching as well.
    Did you see what the Russians are up to with GPS blocking and altering.
    So much for the Google drive cars.
    15th Nov 2018
    Maybe but power has been forged through business driving its needs. That's why it pays political parties and owns media. So that governments are forced to do what it demands. Who needs a gun? That'll only be necessary when business loses control.
    Karl Marx
    15th Nov 2018
    I use a VPN not just to because of the metadata laws which are an invasion of privacy but also makes my devices more secure especially when overseas.
    The next step by this lousy government will be to have a copy of your phone statements on file.
    When this was put before parliament it was for national security against terrorism so we have been lied to again. The great majority on the list should not have access to any data, again this lying, cheating government will not stop until we have no privacy left.
    And remember that Labour voted with the government on this so even Labour can't be trusted.
    15th Nov 2018
    They do already. The telcos keep a record.
    15th Nov 2018
    Yes Rosret. More laws introduced by the LNP government. Supposedly to track terrorists but this is the front. Has nothing to do with catching terrorists and everything to do with controlling citizens. Think China to see where this is going!
    15th Nov 2018
    If you did something Illegal on a Website it can and will be tracked to you even when you USE a VPN. VPN is not an ISP... they are however using an ISP. Encryption doesn't hide tracking... ... So yes, your real IP address can be tracked when you use a vpn
    On the Ball
    15th Nov 2018
    Karl wrote:
    "And remember that Labour voted with the government on this so even Labour can't be trusted."

    If my memory serves me correctly, Labor was more or less blackmailed into signing or they would be chastised as supporters of the criminals that plied their trade via the internet.
    (For what its worth, those criminals still do...)
    15th Nov 2018
    1:42pm have to be careful when try to group a petty criminal like a shoplifter with a mass murderer. This is what Karl is essentially doing and it is incorrect.
    15th Nov 2018
    Hawk squashed the pilot's union for his mates Rupert (Murdoch) and Pete (Sir Peter Abeles) who had just taken over Ansett, so I have no confidence in The Australian Labor Party doing anything different from the LNP.

    Political Parties are not recognized under the Australian Constitution, so maybe we need a referendum to make them lawful.

    From Metadata, it is possible to do Deep Packet Inspection, using sophisticated software, to look at the source data in detail.

    The Australian Federal Police have had this capability for decades, so I guess by now it is more wide spread.

    Centrelink knew I had left the country before I notified them when I arrived at my destination in Europe!
    15th Nov 2018
    If any government law enforcement agency (and I include Centrelink and ATO in that they enforce the Social Security and tax laws) by monitoring my phone and internet use, fill your boots. I haver nothing to hide personally. However if doing the same to other less 'law abiding' residents, and thereby keeping my loved ones and myself safer, then I will accept these erosions on my individual freedom. I would put this into the same category as Roadside Breath Tests and speed cameras, a necessary law enforcement tool in this modern age.
    15th Nov 2018
    I have nothing to hide either Eddy but some of the new laws have zip to do with 'security' and everything to do with controlling the population and delving further and further into people's lives to achieve it.
    Don't believe what they tell you. Its plain untrue.
    15th Nov 2018
    Nice thought Eddy. If the Australian Government has nothing to hide, perhaps they could provide access to all their data?
    We can get some under Freedom of Information and don't be surprised to find sections redacted.
    Hope you're happy with the snoops in your home and bedroom, even when you turn off your smart phone or plasma TV.
    15th Nov 2018
    Crikey mate I can’t think why anyone would be interested in anything going on in other people’s bedrooms, but as far as the government having something to hide, no matter who you are any system can be hacked, so concerns regarding access to our information is redundant, the minute you put anything on line it’s available to anyone with the resources to hack or buy that information.
    15th Nov 2018
    Good point Fisherman. Of course the dirty laundry of governments, the current one in particular, are off limits. Even when caught out they shrug their shoulders, claim some justifiable reason and laugh at us because THEY CAN DO AS THEY LIKE.
    Citizens need to stay vigilant. Freedoms are hard won and easily taken away.
    16th Nov 2018
    Couldn't give a stuff what they see, I disclose everything as required to appropriate organisations.

    If you have nothing to hide you shouldn't have any concerns.
    15th Nov 2018
    As usual you will get the comments on here blaming the government, the truth is you can forget about the list, you have 14 year olds hacking into the pentagon which was supposed to be one of the safest and most protected and secure systems in the world, so how on earth does anyone think any of their information that has ever been put on a computer is going to be safe from anyone with the resources to hack into any system in the world. Ever been into Bunnings and bought something, put your card across for payment, they can tell you your phone number your address and probably your date of birth, what other information do they have? We are our own worst enemies when it comes to data protection, often we willingly give our details out to all sorts of sources including the site we are on right now, no matter who tells you your information is safe it’s not, if you purchase anything online all of the information is available to anyone who has the resources, when was the last time you purchased travel insurance and applied for pre-existing conditions, that info is available to others, and this applies to everything and all your dealings on line, unless of course you have not entered the 21st century, so sorry guys your information is already available!
    15th Nov 2018
    Probably right on the money Jim but for what reason are some agencies allowed to access your private details when they have nothing at all to do with your relationship with the agencies. I'd be pretty peed off if the local council allowed the junior clerk to check out anybody they chose to check out. That is invasion of privacy.
    16th Nov 2018
    No, we are enforced to comply with debit cards and entering personal details, or we are not allowed to do anything, including eat to live, rent to have shelter, buy etc. Right from birth, without any say into the matter, we have to have a birth certificate, or later - we will not be able to drive a car and so forth. Government are to blame because they enforce it all. As for the 14 year old kid; that is what government want you to believe, except all these government departments are still going strong and creating FAKE scenarios like this 14 year old so-called hacker, whom can't be punished, because he is a minor; and most likely hired by government in the future, at your and my expense - if a true scenario, over fake protection laws, that people are never protected at all, and only incarcerated if they protect themselves, to access millions and billions of taxpayer money. As if the Pentagon would allow a 14 year old into their so-called perfect system. Russia can't do it but a 14 year old can??? AS IF!! They create these fake problems to extort cash. They do this with every single thing from self promotion ads on Tv that cost the tax payer and then are also taxed - to fake court cases over some poor excuse of a crime and on it goes. It is on purpose and the government scumbags know everything we all do. They claim the terrorism garbage but NO! It is to control us all. They even know all of these comments but do not care because all it does is show just how much fire power over us they have. They have brainwashed so many to kill at any given moment over their narcissistic control and fake monetary system of rules. The earth did not tell a new born that it had to pay fake plastic paper to be able to live here. And that some other human being owned this planet on your life or its life. Why would any person agree to that? I know i wouldn't. Those leeches can do their own manual labour/ slavery the scum.
    Old Geezer
    15th Nov 2018
    They are certainly nothing to worry about. What about those who you don't know about?
    15th Nov 2018
    Maybe just another instance of - we don't know what we don't know eh Geezer.
    This makes Orwells' book narrative of 'Nineteen Eighty Four' seem ever more likely as progress (we are progressing aren't we ?) continues apace.
    15th Nov 2018
    The issue is a court order should be required to access information and then only on a one off basis for the person nominated. It should not be open slather on whoever. The system is broken and the current government is to blame for what is happening.
    16th Nov 2018
    Am not shocked at all...... They pretended to make laws allowing themselves to pry into your privacy. Have only done this for years and enforced you to enter into agreements they control without any other way but to agree or be denied your birthrights but then deny your rights anyway. After all it is not your choice to be born and your parents have been told a load of rubbish to make it worth their while to have you, except it is nobody else business or right to tell you or your parents to do anything. In fact they have been getting into your business long before they made it legal with their own system of lies. Legislation, enforcement (we live on a prison planet)via their own BS system that they think is superior over a referendum to do as they please. It does not matter if it has become law because they do it anyway and have done forever. The government is nothing more then an illegal criminal gang doing as they please, wielding guns if you do not obey and they do not get your yes master no master 3 bags full master. Why can't people see this and continually need this explained to them?
    16th Nov 2018
    WHOCARES - I think you need to change your name....
    Waiting to retire at 70
    18th Nov 2018
    You want to go into a NSW Building now?

    No, seriously, sometime you do have to. Well now to get into Sydney Trains buildings, for instance, you have to give them your private telephone number and email address, as well as they photograph you.

    I asked why they needed this information to get into see someone. I was told they needed to know who I was. But I said, here have a look at my license. No they were only allowed to capture data (phone no., email address AND photograph). I asked do you keep it on file or destroy it when I leave. "No, we keep it on file in case you want to come back at ANYTIME in the future".

    What guarantee can be given to protect my private and confidential information being compromises. Response, "this is the government". My response, "yes, but what protection is guaranteed?" Nah, couldn't get that one answered. I said what if I don't have an email address. "You can't come in ... or just make one up." Security? Right!

    I said, "you asked me to come in so you could get some information." I asked to leave a message for the person who asked me to come in and help them. "Sorry, but we're not allowed to take messages." Security? No just dumb.
    19th Nov 2018
    Brilliant propaganda and detailed records on everyone worked for the Nazis.

    In Australia the record keeping is doing just fine, the propaganda still needs work, but the excuses department is already up to speed with the usual catch all phrase when confidential data has been leaked - "we have taken steps to see it doesn't happen again".

    19th Nov 2018
    Happy to see Yourlifechoices is not on the list.

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