Is It Ethical For The Government To Retain Data Of All Consumers Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Sports Type: Essay Paper: #58537437 Related Topics: Consumer Rights, Data Collection, Lawyers, Hacking
Excerpt from Essay :

Mandatory Data Retention Laws in Australia

Ethics on Communication Details Being Recorded and Stored

The main issue concerning the topic is the aspect of whether it is right or wrong to keep data and information with respect to privacy and confidentiality as the data retention implies that the private information of the public will be accessed without their consent. There are many parties who are likely being impacted by these concerns. To start with, there is the general public whose private information will be accessed and retained devoid of any informed consent (Coyne, 2015).

The other parties who are likely to be impacted will be companies whose sensitive information will be accessed and hacking of such data could have adverse effects on their business operations. As opined by Coyne (2015), with the introduced aspect of protection class warrants being voted down, it implies that even journalists who might have information that is sensitive and even lawyers would be impacted as their private information would be retained for a two-year period like everyone else and not three months as had been proposed by the members of parliament (Coyne, 2015).

There is a fundamental underlying ethical dilemma in the chosen scenario. The major ethical dilemma is the ethical aspect of respecting the privacy and confidentiality of data and information regarding the general public. This is because the public ought to be given the assurance that all aspects of their communication ought to be handled with utmost confidence. When the privacy of clients and people is...


Data and information such as information texted, location of communication as well as the dates and times of communication ought to be all handled as confidential (Asha, 2013).

The ethical dilemma is that on one hand, it implies consenting to provide personal data and information for examination by law enforcement officials and agencies. The question considered is whether the risk at hand is great, in reference to severity and incidence, as to espouse and accept the relinquishment of the civil rights and freedoms that distinguish Australia as a liberal self-governing nation from authoritarian administrations.

Metadata which encompasses amassing the personal information of the public can easily create a very detailed and invasive picture regarding the privacy of individuals. It is imperative to take note that without doubt, the information being retained does not necessarily have to be personal or private in order to be considered revealing (Daly, 2014).

For instance, according to Daly (2014), a research study undertaken at the University of Stanford regarding metadata from telephone communication demonstrated from its findings that this information being amassed could easily reveal the political affiliation as also religious affiliation of an individual in addition to other intimate and sensitive details regarding that individual's life. This is a predominantly vital discovery for Australians taking into consideration the current plans by the government to continue with the implementation of mandatory retention of all consumers (Daly, 2014).

Some of the possible ramifications of this ethical issue include the hacking of sensitive information of individuals and companies and holders of sensitive information such as lawyers. In addition, sensitive information such as blueprints for companies could easily be hacked and accessed by rivaling companies (Daly, 2014).

Another possible ramification is that it would be easy for someone to hack and obtain information of the public with regard to who they communicate to, their financial information and even more, their physical address where they reside. Some…

Sources Used in Documents:


Asha. (2013). Issues in Ethics: Confidentiality. Retrieved 24 September 2015 from:

Coyne, A. (2015). Mammoth last-ditch effort by Greens, indies knocked back. Itnews. Retrieved 24 September 2015 from:

Dalby, S. (2014). Protecting your privacy: Our stand against 'mandatory data retention'. Iinet. Retrieved 24 September 2015 from:

Daly, A. (2014). The Ethics of Big Data. Electronic Frontiers. Retrieved 24 September 2015 from:
Greenwald, G. (2013). Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the U.S. government? The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2015 from:

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