January deadline to voice data concerns

PEOPLE concerned about the impacts of the Abbott government's plans to force communications companies to retain metadata for two years have until January to raise concerns.

The controversial government bill is one of several national security reforms that have raised concerns about numerous human rights obligations.

But those wanting to put submissions to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security have to tell their intentions to the committee before next Monday.

Committee chairman Dan Tehan said safeguards and oversight would be key concerns for the committee, but people must notify the committee before sending in a submission.

Those who do will have until January 19 to send in their submissions, before a series of hearings next year.

The bill aims to force telecommunications companies to retain the meta data for two years, but will not include the content of emails of browsing history, only what was sent, when and to whom. The committee will report in February.