The ability to easily share electronic consumer data paves the way for new products and services. It also makes it easier for consumers to compare products, which could give them an incentive to switch providers. In turn, this encourages more competition in the marketplace and lower prices. Increased competition helps to drive the economy.
Consumer Data Right regulators
The three regulators in the Consumer Data Right system are:
- the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
- the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)
- the Data Standards Body (DSB).
The regulators have different responsibilities but all work together.
The ACCC is responsible for the Consumer Data Right Rules that providers must follow, and educating consumers and stakeholders about their rights and obligations under these Rules. It looks after the accreditation process, including managing the Consumer Data Right Register. The ACCC ensures providers are complying with the Rules and takes enforcement action where necessary. It is also managing the Consumer Data Right rollout across different sectors.
The OAIC is primarily responsible for complaint handling and for strategic enforcement relating to the protection of privacy and confidentiality. The OAIC also receives and handles notifications of eligible data breaches relating to Consumer Data Right data.
The DSB develops the data standards. The data standards prescribe how data is shared within the Consumer Data Right system.
Consumer Data Right has been introduced in response to several government reviews. The Murray, Harper, Coleman and Finkel inquiries all recommended that Australia develop a right and standards for consumers to access and transfer their information in a usable format.
In May 2017, the Australian Government received the Productivity Commission’s report on its Inquiry into Data Availability and Use. The report made 41 recommendations, including the creation of a new economy-wide ‘comprehensive data right’.
On 20 July 2017, the then Treasurer, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, commissioned the Review into Open Banking in Australia to identify the most appropriate model for open banking. Following the review, the government legislated a Consumer Data Right.