Communications data is information generated about a communication. It includes the time and duration of a communication, the number or email address of the originator and recipient and sometimes the location of the device from which the communication was made. Communications data is distinct from communications content.
The legislation will require Communications Service Providers, when requested to do so, to retain and store communications records which they may not retain at present for their own business reasons.
Communications data is already used by the police and is vital for day-to-day police work and in particular the investigation of all forms of serious crime, including terrorism and child abuse. This legislation will ensure that, as communications technology changes, the police will maintain access to this data in future. But access to data will continue to be permitted only in the context of a specific investi