72.3 Part 13 of the Telecommunications Act regulates the use and disclosure of information obtained by certain bodies during the supply of telecommunications services. It makes it an offence (punishable by up to two years imprisonment) for certain participants in the telecommunications industry (referred to in this chapter as ‘telecommunications service providers’)—namely, carriers, carriage service providers, telecommunications contractors, and employees of carriers, carriage service providers and telecommunications contractors; eligible number-database operators; and emergency call persons—to use or disclose information or a document relating to the:
contents of a communication carried, or being carried, by a carrier or carriage service provider;
carriage services supplied or intended to be supplied by a carrier or carriage service provider; or
affairs or personal particulars (including any unlisted telephone number or any address) of another person.
72.4 The Act specifies a number of exceptions to these ‘primary use/disclosure offences’. These exceptions include that the use or disclosure is: made in the performance of a person’s duties as an employee of a carrier, carriage service provider or a telecommunications contractor; required or authorised by or under law; connected with any other carrier or carriage service provider carrying on its business as a carrier or carriage service provider; or consented to by the subject of the information or document.
72.5 The Act also regulates the secondary use and disclosure of protected information. For example, a person to whom information was disclosed because the disclosure was required or authorised by or under law is prohibited from using or disclosing the information, unless the further use and disclosure is also required or authorised by or under law. A person who contravenes the secondary use and disclosure provisions is also guilty of an offence punishable by up to two years imprisonment.
72.6 The Telecommunications Act requires telecommunications providers to record and report to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on certain disclosures of information under the Act. In 2006–07, participants in the telecommunications industry made 1,165,391 reported disclosures pursuant to exceptions under Part 13 of the Telecommunications Act. This was an increase of 221,024 or 23% over the previous reporting year.
Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth) s 272. There are currently no eligible number-database operators as no determination is in force under s 472(1).
 Ibid ss 276–278.
 Ibid ss 279–294. These exceptions are discussed in detail below.
 Ibid ss 296–303A.
 Ibid s 297.
 Ibid s 303.
 Ibid ss 306, 308. The Act does not require uses to be reported.
 Australian Communications and Media Authority, Annual Report 2006–07 (2007), App 12. In 2005–06, participants in the telecommunications industry made 944,367 reported disclosures pursuant to exceptions under Part 13 of the Telecommunications Act. This was an increase of 58,901 or 6.65% over the previous reporting year: Australian Communications and Media Authority, ACMA Communications Report 2005–06 (2006), 145. The Telecommunications Act does not require all disclosures to be reported.