Data Retention Laws Extended to Telecoms (from October 1st)

From the 1st October, UK telecom companies will have to keep phone call logs for one year as a result of the Data Retention (EC) Regulations coming in to effect. The law which was approved in July 2007 aims to provide valuable insights in security investigations through providing a reliable log of mobile and fixed-line phone calls made in the United Kingdom.

Though all telecoms firms have kept this data for a period of time already, the regulations are designed to ensure a uniform approach across the industry.

From an industry viewpoint, service providers will need to have the ability to manage complex data and business rules to ensure that they have an easy-to-use interface to quickly access call records. Other key factors to consider include the importance of effective data analysis tools and system integration to ensure a clean database and easy retrieval of records.

Tony Wilson, Operations Director, Martin Dawes Systems commented: “This new legislation will provide some key challenges to the industry, however with the right systems and infrastructure in place it is more than achievable. Operators should already have most of the tools in place to adhere to these regulations, having used them for a variety of functions ranging from bill reconciliation to fraud management. The importance of robust systems that allow accurate call and usage records to be produced has never been higher and it is only going to become more important in the future.”

The EU also plans to expand this initiative to include internet data, despite considerable industry outcry concerning the costs of storing and retrieving such information. The directive allows member states to extend the rules to internet data to a later date, providing these are in force by 15th March 2009.