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Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Page: 6035

Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (10:49): I have two questions, and the first is essentially about definition. The European convention quite exhaustively defines 'traffic data', whereas my understanding is that this bill relies on the parent act and does not use convention terminology. I would be interested in the minister's view on the way that the T(IA) Act will be interpreted once this bill passes the chamber and whether or not it will be entirely consistent with convention terminology because the term 'traffic data' is to be found nowhere in this bill or in the parent act.

This is important because, as the minister indicated in his responses to some of the questions that I posed during my second reading debate contribution, this is not about the content of the call, this is not about reading the emails; this is about the telecommunication data or the metadata or the traffic data that surrounds the communications. I have a problem with the basic premise that says that this is necessarily less important or less intimate, I guess, given that it would include, for example, detailed location data, but we will get to that a little further down in the debate because I have an amendment with regard to that. But initially I am seeking the minister's advice on terminology. For the purposes of interpretation of this bill once it has been incorporated into the act, how should we interpret what is actually caught by 'traffic data' or 'telecommunications data'?