Telstra Is Giving You Access To Your Metadata

Sick of not knowing the metadata your telco is forking over to Aussie spooks? Telstra wants to demystify it for you by allowing you to access exactly what it hands over to the feds.

The data the telco will give you is exactly the same as the metadata it gives law enforcement agencies following a "lawful request without a warrant".

Telstra hopes that by making this data available, it will give customers a "clearer picture of the data [it] provides" law enforcement agencies.

Here's exactly what Telstra specified in its press release, issued this morning:

Metadata is the data generated when you use a telecommunications service – information such as the number you called, when you called and how long you spoke for. It does not include the content of a communication, such as the detail of what you said or wrote in an email or SMS.

You'll be able to request the data from April 1, but you won't be getting it for free. It'll cost you $25 to access your "simple" data, while "detailed requests" will carry an hourly rate depending on how long it takes the telco to put it together.

Given that Telstra has had some pretty serious data breaches in the past (like this, this and this), so hopefully it can keep a service like this on lock-down from the bad guys. Or, you know, themselves.



    lol, might be cheaper just to wait and request it from the government instead under the FOI act... assuming that will be possible (no legal reason it shouldn't be...)

      Except the government would only have your metadata if they were watching you.

      The ISPs don't just hand it over to the government. They store it and provide it to the government when they request it.

        "ISPs just don't hand it over to the government". I LOL'd. Yes they will. Clearly the Government will just hoover it all up like the intelligence agencies in the USA do. Thanks to Bill Shorten for destroying the privacy of every Australian,

          So your tip is that next year, there will be 20,000,000+ requests, up from 200,000?

          Any idea how expensive that will be? At $25 for a simple request and moving to an hourly rate for more complex ones?

            With ASIO and the other agencies not actually requiring a warrant and the Metadata bill now being passed... yeah... they will have everyones... for at the very least 2 years (there was nothing in the bill about destroying records or purging them after the minimum 2 year requirement...)

    Does that mean my boss can request my metadata via the company business account which my mobile number is on? :S

      Sure, your boss will know that according to the phone's GPS you left the office twenty minutes early the other day, but don't worry, they won't know the content of any of your communications! Your boss will know that [HR person] at [rival company] called you and you talked for forty minutes last week, and that then you called [your bank] and [all of your clients], but they won't have any idea what you discussed!

      Last edited 06/03/15 1:55 pm

        Ever looked at your phone bill?

        Everything you just described is what is shown on the phone bill.

        Or I could be wrong and you need to add a few more layers to your foil hat.

          Except location data for when you are not making phone calls which they keep and have handed over for criminal cases but can now hand it over to the government.

      All the records of all calls and SMS made are already viewable on the phone bill that you boss can read anyway if your number is on the business phone account.

    Considering your number is a company asset then yes. But they wouldn't need metadata to look at what you're doing. Telstra Business analysis tools are very powerful.

    Did I read that in the last couple hours they backflipped on this decision?

    I thought with the new data retention laws, ISP have to provide this information to you, but of course at a cost. If anyone else asks for your info, that's not so easy.

    Shouldn't one already know what their metadata is?

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