Macquarie University
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Let Me and My Metadata Alone: Australia's Compliance with Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

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posted on 2022-03-29, 03:13 authored by Paul Maluga
In 2015, Australia enacted legislation to require telecommunications service providers to retain user and subscriber metadata for a period of two years. The retention of metadata, classified under legislation as personal information, raises concerns of the potential of unlawful privacy intrusions into the private lives of individuals by state and non-state actors. The aim of this research is to evaluate whether the legislation is consistent with Australia's obligations under article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This paper explores the development of the concept of privacy as a human right and illustrates that privacy concerns closely followed with advances in technology, capable of being delineated into three waves of privacy discourse. Daniel Solove's taxonomy of privacy is used to analyse threats to privacy engendered by metadata retention. Using international legal instruments, this research offers a set of requirements that must be satisfied for privacy intrusions to be deemed legitimate, necessary and proportionate. Upon applying the international legal requirements to the metadata retention legislation, this research concludes that Australia does not meet its international legal obligations to protect individual privacy against unlawful or arbitrary interference.


Table of Contents

I. Introduction -- II. Privact : Three waves of development -- III. Privacy, metadata retention and Solove's taxonomy -- IV. Privacy in international law -- V. Metadata retention in Australia -- VI. Conclusion -- VII. References.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 60-67

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie Law School

Department, Centre or School

Macquarie Law School

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Carolyn Adams


Copyright Paul Maluga 2017 Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource ([1], 72 pages)

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