On 9 August 2018, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released a Consultation Paper on proposed new rules relating to internet activity record keeping. The ACCC proposes introducing the a new Internet Activity Record Keeping Rule under s 151BU of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) to enable the ACCC to collect and analyse internet activity data.

The proposal is largely a response to the decision of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to discontinue its own Internet Activity Survey. The ACCC draws on internet activity data previously collected by the ABS to fulfil its monitoring, analysis and reporting functions, so the ACCC recognises the value of continuing to collect this information and ensuring it remains publically available.

Information gathered by the ACCC will be used to report on competitive safeguards within Australia's telecommunications industry, and to provide other information relating to internet activity including:

  • retail market shares for fixed, mobile and wireless broadband services  
  • internet subscribers by access technology  
  • volume of data downloaded by access technology  
  • broadband data usage per customer

The ACCC is seeking submissions until 21 September 2018. More information can be found in the Consultation Paper here.