Data retention to cost $60m for iiNet to set up; customers will pay

iiNet says any costs imposed on the ISP for a data retention system will be passed on to customers.

iiNet has told at a parliamentary inquiry that it would cost $60 million for it to set up an adequate data retention scheme at the company.

The ISP told the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS), which is currently carrying out an inquiry into data retention, that it will recover any costs associated with data retention “on behalf of the Commonwealth.”

“If we take that cost and determine what it would cost our customers to pass that through … [it would be] $5 per month – that would be an increase to our customers,” iiNet said.

iiNet said the discussion paper on the inquiry stated that data must be retained for the source of the communication (who sends it) and the destination of the communication (who receives it). However, this is not information iiNet currently gathers or keeps, Dalby said. This would mean setting up a completely new system at ISPs.

iiNet said such a system was technically feasible, but the real question was how much money there was available to implement a system for effective data retention.

“What we’ve said is it’s not that it’s too expensive to us. It’s that if we are forced to do it, we will pass those costs through [to the customer],” iiNet said.

Telstra told the inquiry earlier today that retaining large data sets could provide an attractive target for hackers. iiNet also has similar concerns, Dalby said the threat of large data sets could come from commercial entities.

“That data is a very tasty prize and … the approaches from commercial organisations to gain access to that datastream are very lucrative,” iiNet said.

Vodafone also appeared at today’s hearing, warning the JPCIS that retaining detailed information on mobile data usage by customers could involve a significant cost for operators.

Yesterday several police commissioners fronted the inquiry, revealing they would like data to be kept indefinitely, but compromised on a two-year period for the proposals after talks with the Attorney-General’s department.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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