07 March 2015

A Metadata ATM?

Telstra has announced that it will offer its subscribers - for a fee - access to metadata rtegarding their phone accounts. The announcement reverses Telstra's previous adamant refusal of access.

Those who are just a tad sceptical about Telstra's ongoing commitment to caring and sharing might wonder whether access will have the same role as ATMs for banks, ie a quiet little earner once the set-up costs have been recovered.

Telstra indicates that consumers will get access to data about who they've called, the location from which the call was made, the time and duration. It will include "the actual location of the cell tower an outgoing call was connected to when the call was made".

The metadata will not identify incoming calls.

The fee will depend on the age of the requested data, with  Telstra indicating
Simple requests are expected to cost around $25, while detailed requests covering multiple services across several years will be charged at an hourly rate. This is the same practice of cost recovery that is applied to requests from law enforcement agencies
This new approach is all about giving you a clearer picture of the data we provide in response to lawful requests today.
The announcement anticipates belated release by the Australian Privacy Commissioner of his response to a complaint regarding Telstra's refusal to provide a journalist with access to metadata regarding his calls.on.