How long is call data preserved in India?

Often people want to access their old mobile phone data such as call logs from the service provider. The question that naturally occurs is, how long is such data stored and retained by mobile phone service providers in India. I managed to dig this up, a Press Information Bureau press release:

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Communications & Information Technology
Preservation of Telecom Records

26 August2010 17:3 IST

The telecommunications companies to whom Licence has been issued by the Government for providing telephone services are required to preserve the records as per provisions in the respective Licence Agreement. In this regard following stipulations have been made in the Licence Agreement(s) for Unified Access Service(UAS)/ Cellular Mobile Telephone
Service (CMTS):

  1. The LICENSEE shall invariably preserve all billing and all other accounting records (electronic as well as hard copy) for a period of THREE years from the date of publishing of duly audited & approved Accounts of the company and any dereliction thereof shall be treated as a material breach independent of any other breach,
    sufficient to give a cause for cancellation of the LICENCE.
  2. The LICENSEE shall maintain all commercial records with regard to the communications exchanged on the network. Such records shall be archived for at least one year for scrutiny by the Licensor for security reasons and may be destroyed thereafter unless directed otherwise by the licensor.
  3. The Government in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting may direct the Licensee providing IPTV service to ensure preservation and retention for a period of 90 days unless specified otherwise, of different kinds of content made available to their subscribers and requires it to ensure its security and also that it is not tampered
    with during such period. The Licensee providing IPTV service may be required to produce the same to the Government or its authorized representative, as and when required and the Licensee providing IPTV service will be required to ensure compliance to all such directions


Further, in regard to records related to Lawful interception, as per Rule 419(A) of Indian Telegraph Rules, the service providers shall destroy records pertaining to directions for interception of message within two months of discontinuance of the interception of such messages and in doing so they shall maintain extreme secrecy.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Shri Sachin Pilot in a written reply to a Question in Rajya Sabha today.


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