Privacy advocates question metadata retention after report reveals problems

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Privacy and human rights advocates are questioning the need for Australia’s metadata retention policy after a parliamentary inquiry found oversight of the scheme has been poor.

The Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security wants to limit metadata access to senior law enforcement officials and only allow access for include serious offences, such as those punishable by three years in jail.

Metadata authorised officials are able to see includes who people contact, the date, time and duration of contacts, the type of service used and the location of the equipment used to make the contact.

When first introduced then Attorney General George Brandis assured the public it would only be used to investigate serious offences, but since been revealed to have been used by councils to investigate fines and was unlawfully accessed by ACT police on multiple occasions.

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