Metadata retention laws have been part of the discussion globally for quite awhile. There were concerns about privacy (or the loss of) and about processes being circumvented or completely hijacked by not going through legal processes that were supposed to be there to protect citizens. Australia has learned a hard lesson for the rest of us. Windows IT Pro brought this interesting information to our attention in their article, “Security Sense: Australia Just Showed the World the Problem with Mandatory Metadata Retention.”

Once information is captured and digitized as the metadata retention laws require, there’s always the risk of disclosure to unintended parties. It’s not clear precisely what checks and balances are in place for accessing metadata, but it appears that for this particiular case, the answer was “not enough.”

An investigator with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) sought and acquired the call records of a journalist without a warrant. Supposedly it was by accident, which doesn’t make anyone feel safer.

Melody K. Smith

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