The vast majority of Australian internet service providers (ISPs) are not ready to start collecting and storing metadata as required under the country's data retention laws which come into effect today.
ISPs have had the past six months to plan how they will comply with the law, but 84 per cent say they are not ready and will not be collecting metadata on time.
The Attorney-General's department says ISPs have until April 2017 to become fully compliant with the law.
The figures come from a survey sent to ISPs by telecommunications industry lobby group Communications Alliance.
It found two-thirds of them are still not entirely sure what type of metadata the Government wants retained.
Communications Alliance chief executive John Stanton said ISPs have had to start collecting a significant amount of new data, and complying with the laws has been difficult and time consuming.
"The Government's claim that what they're asking for is retention of the status quo has never been correct," he said.
"The vast majority [of ISPS] are saying: 'We're trying, but we're not there yet'."
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