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Charles Clarke On Data Retention Costs
By: MarkJ - 12 January, 2006 (9:38 AM)

Home Secretary Charles Clarke has, while speaking to the ISPA, touched on the problem of data retention costs facing ISP's. Unfortunately Mr Clarke seems rather uninterested in bringing any kind of real clarity to the table:

"ISPs are working in a highly competitive marketplace, and are rightly concerned with this legislation," he said. "They have two concerns: economic constraints on competitiveness, and constraints in developing technology [caused by this directive]," Clarke said. "We want to work with industry closely to carry forward this legislation. We look forward to working with you, and need dialogue to understand the business point of view."

ISPs are concerned about the costs of both retention and retrieval, particularly because there is no codified model for paying them.

"There is a concern that the directive makes no provision for reimbursement to ISPs for extended data retention. Data retention is not simply about disk drives. The development, management, and security costings must be taken into account," said Emeric Miszti of Tiscali.

There is scope within the directive for the state to help subsidise such systems, however this has always been rather a thin line since governments naturally would rather spend their cash elsewhere.

The sad reality is that customers may end up footing the bill, something that is most likely to hit smaller providers hardest and destabilise those already working to a tight economic model. More @ ZDNet.

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