The Indian government has extended the period for which telecom companies store customer call and internet usage data. Earlier this week, the DoT in a circular extended the period for storing call data and internet usage records of customers by two years. Earlier this limit was fixed at one year.
“The Licensee shall maintain all commercial records / Call Detail Records (CDRs) / IP Detail Records (IPDRs) in respect of the exchanges over the network. Such records shall be kept for at least two years for verification by the Licensor for security reasons. shall be stored and may thereafter be destroyed unless directed otherwise by the licensor,” stated the circular by the Department of Telecommunications.
The government has cited security reasons for increasing this limit. “… it is necessary or expedient so to do in the public interest or in the interest of security of the State or for the proper operation of the telegraph,” the DoT said in the circular.
In addition, DoT has mandated the telecom service providers in the country to maintain CDRs and IPDRs for Internet telephony services and to maintain log-in and log-out details for all customers for services such as Internet access, email, Internet has also said. Telephony and IPTV among others for a period of two years. This limit was also set a year ago.
Does it affect me?
In the government’s circular, telecom companies have been asked to store call data and internet usage data of customers for one year, but this does not affect most smartphone users in the country. At least not in a functional way.
This information is commonly used by government and security agencies to detect and thwart threats. Storing data for an additional year is perhaps an additional security measure by the government amid the current geopolitical climate in the world.
Separately, the government is also planning to amend telecom regulations in the country to reduce excessive regulations and pendency in the industry. Livemint reports that among other things, the government is planning to change existing laws to spur growth in the industry.
Government directs telecom companies to store calls, internet usage data for two years first appeared on BGR India.