Data Retention Laws

Data Retention Laws and What they mean for you

The new data retention laws have marked a major shift in privacy issues related to telecommunication and internet usage. Basically, this law mandates holding all metadata of consumers by telecommunication and internet providers for two years. These measures have been ostensibly implemented to catch criminals and counter any threat to national security.

What is metadata? Simply speaking, it is all information that answers the questions of who, when, how, and where with respect to your communication over the internet. This includes your IP addresses, name, email, time, phone number etc. It does not include the content of that communication. However, it can be a relatively simple matter to work that out.

How Do These Data Retention Laws Affect You?

You may be wondering how this affects you. One of the main reasons why data retention laws have been criticised is that they infringe on the privacy of individuals. This metadata can be easily abused by the government and other agencies privy to it.

The laws also raise concerns about the rights given to film studios to access online data. This is an added privacy issue. Another concern is that implementing this law will be a costly proposition. The cost of storing the data will be borne by the Internet Service Providers. It is feared that this cost will ultimately be levied from the end users of internet and phone. Unfortunately, that will be you.

Using a VPN Connection Protects Your Privacy

As a consumer, you will naturally be worried about the threat to your online security and privacy rights. The good news is that there are ways you can make your online experience safer and more anonymous. One of the most effective and simple methods of ensuring your online privacy is to use a VPN.

VPN or Virtual Private Network is a tool used by many to ensure that your browsing habits cannot be traced back to you. It is a virtual network that connects your device to a remote server in another country through an encrypted ‘pipeline’. The websites you access through VPN can see only your ‘new’ IP address and not your actual one.

Benefits of Using A VPN

There are several clear advantages to having a VPN connection. One of the most important is your online safety. Since your IP address is disguised, you can browse, chat, transfer, or download data safely and securely. You are also shielded from hackers and other agencies that might want to spy on you.

Besides, a distinct benefit of VPN is geo-unblocking. With a VPN connection, you can easily access websites that may not be available in your country for any number of reasons. All you need to do is change your location server to an appropriate country where the content is available to view it.

Finally, obtaining and setting up a VPN connection is extremely simple. Some VPN connection actually utilise the in-built VPN wizard in Windows. Others have their own software that you would need to download. There are only a few simple steps to follow to set up the VPN connection.

As long as you are using a VPN service, you can rest easy about the implementation of the new data retention laws in Australia. You will be well protected from being spied on and you get a number of other benefits as well.

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