White House defends NSA phone records collection as 'critical tool' | World news | guardian.co.uk This point was also made by the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein. "This is just meta data. There is no content involved," she told reporters on Capitol Hill. Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered. However, in 2013, such metadata can provide authorities with vast knowledge about a caller's identity. Particularly when cross-checked against other public records, the metadata can reveal someone's name, address, driver's licence, credit history, social security number and more. Government analysts would be able to work out whether the relationship between two people was ongoing, occasional or a one-off. Translation, from my perspective: What you say isn't that important. Who you call, where you are when you call, when you call, how long the call lasts - that's more important. With this, we can observe anyone.