Watchdog to implement consumer data rights

keyboard, computer, online, shopping, e-commerce, teen, girlAustralian consumers will soon be able to share their personal data safely with trusted service providers once the Consumer Data Rights will be implemented, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced.

Rod Sims, ACCC chair, said the ACCC will turn the concept of consumer data rights into reality, including rule-making, consumer education and eventually, enforcement.

“The consumer data right is essentially a data portability right,” Sims said. “We believe it will enable consumers to actually benefit greatly from the data that businesses already hold about them.”

Using banking, the first industry to be designated under the consumer data rights as an example, Sims explained how existing customer data held by banks can benefit homeowners.

“It is often difficult and costly for borrowers to compare the offers of mortgage providers,” Sims said.

Under the CDR, he said, banks will make some data, such as customers’ transaction details, available to the customer or the customer’s chosen data recipient.

“Consumer data rights will reduce the cost to borrowers of discovering and comparing offers,” Sims said.

Sims also stressed the importance of privacy and security in developing the CDR.

The ACCC said they will work closely with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner on privacy matters.

According to Sims, robust privacy protection and information security will be a core feature of the consumer data rights.

“The data can only be accessed by trusted parties who have the customer’s consent to access their data,” he said.

The ACCC has created a dedicated Consumer Data Right Branch and work is already underway with a framework paper on the data rules expected for public consultation in August.

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