A charter communications company has launched a campaign to try to get the government to share details of its data with the courts.
The company, called Charter Communications, is using the data to challenge a decision to scrap a controversial copyright directive which allowed the internet giant to sue online users who posted content they did not own.
It has also asked the Government to make its data available to courts to try and block an earlier decision which said the data should be kept private.
The Communications Act 2012 requires that internet providers provide a detailed account of the content they process and how it is used.
But the Companies Bill, which is due to be debated in the House of Lords next week, has called for companies to be allowed to share this information with courts.
Under the law, internet service providers have to ensure that their customers’ personal data is stored securely.
But, the Data Protection Commissioner, Sir Malcolm Turnbull, recently suggested that internet companies could keep some of their data for themselves, so long as they gave court permission.
The regulator said this would include providing details about what data is being used by the service, and who has access to the data.
The government says it will look at the proposal and decide whether to allow Charter to make the data available for use.
But there is widespread concern that the information will be used against Charter.
In a letter to the regulator last month, the Communications Alliance said it supported the government’s decision to move to make information like a customer’s name and address available to the courts but said Charter’s request for this information was “a step backwards”.
It said it would have liked to see a more detailed approach from the government, so that the company’s data was made public to the public.
Charter says it is a private company and will comply with the law if it can provide the right documents and give the courts the right information.
In its letter to Sir Malcolm, Charter said it wanted to share its data for free, so it could make it available to a court in the event of a dispute.
“We do not want to disclose the details of our customers’ data for fear that this could be used to litigate the case,” Charter said.
The communications watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, said it was also looking at Charter’s proposals and had yet to make a final decision.
“The Commissioner is reviewing the request and is likely to make an initial decision soon,” it said.
“Charter has provided an undertaking to the Commissioner that it will provide information about its customers’ records, but it has not provided details about its customer accounts.”
The company said it is also working with other data protection providers to share data about its users with the court system.