Communications Data Retention UK

Applicability

Requirements for communications service providers (CSPs) – Internet

Service Providers (ISPs) and phone operators – to retain traffic data.

Basis of Retention and Disposition

The UK is subject to the European Union’s Data Retention Directive implemented via The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009. All telecommunications data in the UK is kept for a minimum of one year.

The Retention of Communications Data (Code of Practice) Order 2003 – this is a voluntary code of practice drawn up between communications companies and the Home Office concerning the retention of communications data. The categories of data retained, and their respective retention periods are as follows:

  • Web activity logs – 4 days
  • SMS, EMS, MMS data – 6 months
  • Email data – 6 months
  • ISP data – 6 months
  • Subscriber information – 12 months
  • Telephony data – 12 months
  • Banking data – 7 years
  • Postal data – unknown

Citations and References

2006/24/EC Data Retention Directive http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:105:0054:0063:EN:PDF

The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2009/9780111473894/introduction

The Retention of Communications Data (Code of Practice) Order 2003 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2003/011048083X?view=plain

Voluntary Retention of Communications Data under Part 11: Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001—Voluntary Code of Practice http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2003/draft/5b.pdf

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