Storage Wars: Offshore Metadata Retention may Pose Security Risks

Under the new metadata retention scheme that is now in operation, people in Australia will have their metadata collected and retained for two years. The new mandatory metadata retention laws are being touted as an integral way to monitor and prevent organised crime and terrorist activity.

Metadata capturing and retention has both its avid supporters and protestors. Whether you are of the opinion that this is an overly costly invasion of everyone’s privacy or simply a means to track those who should be tracked, the facilitation and storage of this scheme’s information bi-products is entirely questionable.

The former Minister for Communication and now Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed to the House that there is no requirement for the physical server hosting the data to be located in Australia[1]. The risks associated with sensitive data being stored in offshore facilities has been described by Telstra as “a honeypot for hackers”[2]. The less-regulated environment of offshore retention could leave many people open to hacking of the most personal levels including the tracking of phone habits and internet histories.

In any form, information carries a level of sensitivity. When it comes to massive mandatory retention of personal information, safety of that data should be considered of paramount importance.

Security of data is the core of the Compu-Stor business. We provide localised Australian data security, management and storage alternatives that utilise our unique Complete Information Management System or CIMS.

CIMS is a comprehensive storage system that allows authorised users to retrieve information online through their smart phone, tablet or PC. This system provides protected access, encrypted content, and provides an auditable trail for additional security. All data that is stored by us is done so on our own secure Data Centre that is physically located in Australia.

The massive extent of a mandatory data retention scheme of a whole country is bound to present many challenges when it comes to the storage of that information. The responsibility that befalls the Australian Government at present is that in trying to protect its citizens, it needs to ensure that it is not inadvertently opening us up to further harm.