What is metadata?
Metadata, simply put, is 'data about data'.
In telecommunications it is information about communications (e.g. the time a phone call was made and its duration), information about the people communicating (e.g. the sender and the receiver) including account and location information, and the device used. It does not require that service providers retain the content or substance of a communication, but metadata can still reveal a lot of information about an individual and those they interact with.
For the draft set of metadata that will be collected, head to the Attorney-General's Department website.
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) would like to congratulate the Federal Government on its move to make registrations on the Do Not Call Register indefinite which passed through both Houses of Parliament yesterday. This is great for consumers who will no longer have to re-register their phone numbers on the Do Not Call Register.
"With more than 10 million registered numbers on the Do Not Call Register, indefinite registration is a win for consumers," said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin. "The high number of registrations reflects the preference of Australians not to be contacted by telemarketers."
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is concerned that the proposed anti-piracy Industry Code has some serious flaws in its consumer safeguards. ACCAN has outlined its concerns in a submission to Communications Alliance.
The scheme includes a $25 fee to challenge a false claim made by a copyright holder. In Australia, these types of dispute resolution schemes have traditionally been fee free (for example the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman). While there is a provision for fee waivers ACCAN believes the process for applying will be overly bureaucratic and insufficient to improve affordability issues.
The ACCAN event Rethinking the Universal Service Obligation (USO), held in Sydney yesterday, aimed to open up discussion about the USO, and unravel the issues confronting consumers, policy makers and industry in a rapidly changing communications landscape.
The USO is a fundamental consumer protection that ensures a standard telephone service (generally fixed line voice services) and pay phones are accessible to all people in Australia.
"As the technology we use evolves and is used to access more and more services, it's important to examine the current Universal Service Obligation to ensure it is still fit for purpose," said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin. "Our sessions throughout the day saw some interesting debate and discussion on what services consumers require today and into the future and how to ensure the right protections are in place. These discussions with stakeholders and key industry players will help inform ACCAN's work in this area."
Recent statistics show that almost two thirds of Australians are on Facebook, yet according to the 2014 Yellow Social Media Report, only 36 per cent of small businesses have a social media presence. And, despite investing their time in using social media to promote their business, almost three in 10 have no strategy to drive traffic to their sites.
In response to this gap, online training website, Digital Ready, has released a free guide for small business owners on how to use social media to their advantage. The free guide called 'Social Media for Business – a beginner's guide' was developed with small businesses, not for profit organisations and clubs in mind to help them better understand the ins and outs of social media and how they can use it to grow their business.