The IPND is an industry-wide database containing all listed and unlisted public telephone numbers. It was established in 1998 and is managed by Telstra under the Carrier Licence Conditions (Telstra Corporation Limited) Declaration 1997. It is a critical source of information for emergency services and law enforcement and national security agencies.
Requirements on CSPs to provide data
Part 4 of Schedule 2 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 sets out service provider rules in relation to the IPND. Under these rules, carriage service providers (CSPs) that supply a carriage service to an end-user of a public number must provide the public number and the associated customer data to the IPND Manager.
CSPs are also obliged to comply with the Telecommunications (Emergency Call Service) Determination 2009 and the IPND Code. This includes ensuring the information given to the IPND Manager is at all times accurate.
What is in the IPND?
Telstra’s Carrier Licence Conditions and the IPND Code require that the IPND contain certain information in relation to each public number of a customer of each CSP, including:
- the public number
- the name of the customer
- the name of the CSP
- the service address of the customer
- an alternate address flag to indicate that a service may not be at the customer’s service address recorded in the IPND (for example, this can apply to calls made from a local service connected to a PABX, or when using nomadic services such as VoIP)
- if the alternate address flag is set to ‘True’, a contact name and number for the customer
- whether the service is unlisted or listed
- for listed services, the name and address of the customer to appear in public number directories
- whether the telephone service is to be used for government, business, charitable or private purposes, if practicable
- the type of service (for example, fixed, mobile, payphone or premium services).
How can I access or correct my record?
Section 5.2 of the IPND Code sets out how a customer may obtain access to their public number customer data (PNCD). This includes:
Under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), customers who are individuals are entitled to obtain access to their PNCD and, if that data is incorrect, to seek correction.
The Customer should contact their CSP directly, through the communication method advised by their CSP. CSPs must respond by supplying the requested PNCD within 20 days.
Where a customer identifies their record is inaccurate the CSP must correct the data as long as the requested changes comply with their regulatory obligations. For example, a request to change the spelling of a name would be cross-checked against a form of identification.
A CSP must not charge a customer for correcting inaccurate PNCD.
The ACMA’s compliance and enforcement role
The ACMA is responsible for monitoring and enforcing CSP compliance with the obligations to provide accurate and timely customer information to the IPND. A key aim of the IPND compliance program is to improve the quality of data in the IPND. This is important because the harms that can result from inaccurate data in the IPND can be serious. These include:
delays in emergency response times
hindering the operation of telephone-based emergency warning systems
impairing or compromising efficient lines of investigations by law enforcement and national security agencies
publication of unlisted numbers.