Phone data bid to help find missing people

Authorities will be able to access critical phone data faster to help find missing people, under changes to telecommunications laws.

A proposal put forward by the federal government on Thursday will lower the thresholds for telcos to provide information to police.

The changes follow a letter sent from the NSW deputy state coroner to Communications Minister Michelle Rowland, following an inquest into a missing person case, recommending the laws.

Under the amendments, barriers for police will be lowered so triangulation can be worked out more quickly.

In order for police to access the data, authorities have to prove a threat to a person's life, or their health, is serious and imminent.

The new laws will remove the requirement that the threat is imminent, due to the requirement often being difficult to show in cases of missing people.

Ms Rowland said a quick response was needed from parliament.

"These are critical amendments to the telecommunications act and associated legislation which could very well save lives," she said.

"This is an important change to the way we deliver emergency services to Australians."

Recommendations to lower the threshold for data have been raised before, with the NSW coroner flagging the issue in a 2020 inquest.

Emergency disclosures made to triple zero will be also enhanced under the law changes, with record keeping rules updated.