If you weren’t already confused about the meaning of the term metadata, you probably will be after hearing our politicians attempt to explain the proposed privacy and terrorism changes.
The term metadata simply means “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.
There is currently no legislative definition for metadata in Australia, this is because if one is ever settled upon, policies would become outdated quickly as technology advances.
- Telecommunications providers will have to retain all metadata for two years.
- It will be an offence to travel to designated areas where terrorists are active unless you have a “legitimate purpose”.
- Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) will be able to suspend passports in “appropriate circumstances”
- Suspected terrorists may be arrested without a warrant.
What do you think of the proposed changes? Is it a warranted attempt to reduce terrorism or a draconian breach of our rights to privacy?