Data retention for one year for UK telecom companies
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The transposition into the UK law of most part of the EU Data Retention Directive (2006/24/EC) was approved on 24 July 2007 by the House of Lords and signed the next day by the Home Secretary.
The approval followed after a period of public consultation proposed by a paper published by the Home Office in March 2007.
As a result of the public consultation, the law applies only to telecom companies that will have to preserve phone call logs for one year, but does not apply to Internet traffic data such as emails, web surfing or VoIP phone calls.
The new law is meant to provide security services with a reliable log of mobile and fixed phone calls they could use in investigations, referring only to the records of their occurrence and not their content. It is also intended to ensure an even approach within the industry.
During the consultation period, the telecom industry considered that the collection of Internet data was too complicated to be included in the current rules, the ISP Association stating "the draft regulations as they stand would not enable implementation of the internet aspects of the Directive".
According to the conclusions of the consultation, the implementation of the Regulations was inappropriate for Internet data due to "particular technical and resourcing issues" such as "increased difficulties in replicating the 'end to end' picture of communications data, the difference in the cost profile for storage and retrieval of Internet communications and the need for a strong business case, if the retention period for IP data is set at 12 months."
The Regulations will come into force on 1 October 2007. Although the data retention is not yet applicable to Internet traffic data in UK, the possibility still exists in the future. The EU Directive allows the member states to postpone the implementaion of the rules to Internet data until 15 March 2009.
Data retention law passed in UK (27.07.2007)
Draft Statutory Instrument 2007 No. The Data Retention (EC Directive)
The Initial Transposition of Directive 2006/24/EC Government Responses to
the Consultation (June 2007)
A consultation paper, - The initial transposition of Directive 2006/24/EC