U.K. government, service providers discuss data retention strictures

Published 14 January 2006

U.K. pushed hard to increase amount of time phone companies should retain phone call information, but providers complain that more attention should be paid to the costs they must shoulder as a result

U.K. home secretary Charles Clarke gave a clear commitment to continue close dialogue with the Internet industry over the transposition of the Data Retention Directive into U.K. Clarke said, “I want to say clearly and publicly that I want to work with industry on this legislation, and hear industry’s major concerns.”

ISPA, the U.K. leading Internet trade association, brought together leading representatives from government, law enforcement, and the Internet industry to discuss the likely impact of the data retention directive at the Houses of Parliament. The United Kingdom implemented a voluntary Code of Practice for the retention of communications data in 2003 under the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act. Under this regime, ISPs retained certain subscriber data for up to twelve months. Nicholas Lansman, secretary general of ISPA U.K. said that “concerns remain over the impact of the data retention directive. How will Communications Service Providers recover the costs involved with the retention of data, and how will new and emerging technologies be affected by the directive? These issues must be addressed by the Government through further consultation with industry.”

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