Surveillance laws in the UK were overhauled this week with the final approval of the Investigatory Powers Act. The Act updates the ways in which UK authorities can obtain and use people’s data.

The new law also affects private companies providing communications services, like internet companies and mobile operators. UK authorities can require these companies to store their customers’ communications data for up to 12 months. This includes keeping logs of the internet sites and services that each customer has accessed, and providing them on request to the authorities.

Companies that have to collect this data must also put in place appropriate cyber security measures to protect it. They’ll also need to make sure that they’re complying with other data protection and cyber security laws.

The Home Office will be publishing a timetable for its implementation of the Act.