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EU Data Retention Laws Still Too Costly

Posted: 11th Jan, 2007 By: MarkJ
Concern over the cost of introducing new "Data Retention" laws, which would force Telco's and ISP's to log basic e-mail, phone and Internet traffic usage data, have not gone away:

Service providers and operators need to adapt their systems by the time various national governments implement the European provisions on data retention as law. For example, call detail record (CDR) systems will need to be revamped to cope with the increase in communication and traffic data to be stored and managed. Importantly service providers not previously obligated to retain data will now be governed by the EU Directive stipulations, Frost & Sullivan notes.

"Implementing solutions compliant with the EU Directive on Data Retention will result in an onerous burden on communications service providers and operators," said Frost & Sullivan senior industry analyst Fernando Elizalde. "The provisions of the EU Directive will apply not just to mobile and fixed telephony, but also to Internet telephony, e-mail services and messaging services."

Service providers will be obliged to respond to lawful requests from law enforcement agencies "without undue delay", however the legislation fails to clarify what this might mean in practice.

The Register notes that EU member states have until September 2007 to apply the directive. Here in the UK discussions are still on-going, although it's difficult to gain any clarity about their progress.

Privacy fears are one factor, but consumers could also find the cost of Internet access going up. Much will depend on whether of not the UK government burdens some of the costs involved.
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