This article reviews law enforcement/national security access and use of metadata, considering the privacy impact of the revised metadata retention and collection framework introduced in 2015. The review reveals that, after 2015, no comprehensive study was undertaken in the following areas: how location information is generated and exchanged in the IP-mediated LTE network, and how mobile devices are tracked and create more precise location estimates, in the legal and policy context of the exceptions and privacy safeguards introduced after 2015; the discretionary powers of the agencies to use personal and sensitive information to identify inquiries and investigations to pursue and enforce the law.
This article describes how Australia?s metadata retention and disclosure regime addresses the retention and disclosure of location information and location identifiers by locally licensed providers and those that do not require a licence to operate in Australia. The paper argues the retention limitations in respect of over the-top-content and communications services are undermined by the actions of the agencies to harvest location information and conduct Big Data analytics. So does the discretion granted to the telecommunications service provider to retain location information in respect of over the-top-content and communications services.
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