The Obama administration is reportedly reviewing four alternatives to National Security Agency's mass phone data collection.
Officials closer to the matter revealed that one of the alternatives include doing away with the metadata collection programme altogether.
According to The Verge, these alternatives have been presented ahead of the March 28 deadline set by the US President as part of the larger NSA reforms announced by him earlier this year.
One of the proposals would be to put phone metadata collection under the purview of US telecommunications companies, which would require the NSA to inform the companies when it needs to search their databases for investigations.
The phone companies would then return only the results of those searches, rather than data on consumers unrelated to the investigations.
The report said that another proposal would see a different federal agency hold the data, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and a third would place them under the control of a third entity that's neither a federal agency nor a telecom company.
Obama had said earlier that the option of abolishing the data collection program altogether, would require more work to determine exactly how this system might work.
The report said that none of the four options reported this week have universal support as phone company representatives have claimed that they have not been consulted on the proposal to charge them with controlling the data, while Representative Mike Rogers (R - MI) said that it does not have enough support in the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, privacy groups have criticized the proposal to create a separate agency, arguing that it would result in little substantive change, and doing away with the program altogether would dismay intelligence officials who see it as critical to ensuring national security, the report added.