May 162016
 May 16, 2016  Court, Non-U.S.

Paris Cowan reports:

A full bench of the federal court will in August make a landmark ruling on what constitutes ‘personal information’ in the context of Australia’s Privacy Act data protection rules.

The move was sparked by former Fairfax journalist Ben Grubb’s three-year battle to get a hold of his metadata from Telstra.

Appeals and counter-appeals have meant the case has been bounced from tribunal to tribunal due to differences in the definition of what counts as information about Grubb, as opposed to information about his service or his device.

At its heart lies a dispute over whether Grubb’s location metadata qualifies as personal information, thereby bringing it within the regulatory parameters of the Act, or whether it is merely ‘network data’ pertaining to the machine-to-machine communication between a device and a cell tower.

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