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How Will New Consumer Data Laws Affect Your Business?

How Will New Consumer Data Laws Affect Your Business?

Starting in July, the new Consumer Data Right will change the way businesses collect and share data. Read this to find out how these laws will affect you.

17th April 2019

Four months into 2019, privacy has once again become a major topic of policy discussions. The GDPR-inspired Consumer Data Right (CDR) Bill and the Privacy Act‘s tougher, broader penalties are among two recent developments.

This article outlines the CDR and how it will change the way businesses collect and share consumer data. Its aims are to benefit businesses and consumers by building trust and driving competition.

Does The GDPR Apply to You?

You may have duties under the GDPR. Australian businesses that establish, trade or track people in the EU have duties to be lawful, fair and transparent with data. Penalties depend on the relevant EU member state’s laws. Even if the GDPR doesn’t apply to you, the Privacy Act has similar requirements. You must use the privacy by design approach, follow privacy principles and transparently handle data.

The Consumer Data Right Bill

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill introduces CDR to consumer and privacy law. The Bill partly adopts certain GDPR Articles, such as the right to access personal data (15) without undue delay (16) in a machine-readable format (20).

The Bill’s Purpose

The CDR’s aim is for consumers to be able to make more informed decisions about their information, as well as the goods and services they use. The four principles of the CDR are that it should:

  1. be seen from the consumer’s perspective;
  2. seek to increase competition so that consumers can make better choices;
  3. create opportunities for new businesses and ideas to grow; and
  4. be efficient, sustainable and fair.

When Does It Take Effect?

From the 1st of July, the CDR entitles businesses and individuals to access their data from a ‘data holder’. The CDR will apply to the banking sector before it’s extended to the telecommunications and energy sectors. Afterwards, the ACCC and the Information Commissioner decide which sectors to choose next.

How Does It Work?

Once you request access to your data, the data holder needs to share it with you or a business you’ve given your consent to. You can make three types of requests:

  • information on products offered by a business;
  • data that relates to you; and
  • data on behalf of a consumer who’s given you consent.

How Will It Affect Your Business?

The CDR will benefit both consumers and businesses. With public access to information, businesses can tailor products and reach more consumers. For example, businesses can:

  • recommend products based on credit card and mortgage spending and repayment patterns;
  • identify better lending products based on historical borrowing needs;
  • examine spending habits;
  • using transaction data, provide insight or meet compliance obligations;
  • use a household’s past energy use to help them choose a better energy plan;
  • offer solar power units according to the level and timing of energy usage; and
  • help consumers find service providers based on mobile and internet use.

The Consumer Data Right Bill, following the GDPR, will create more transparent and fair privacy laws. The laws will focus on consumers, but businesses will benefit as well. Ultimately, improving public trust and making consumers more willing to buy from different businesses. Transparent and fair laws will benefit everyone.

Unsure where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace.

Shaheen Hoosen

Shaheen is a Legal Tech Intern at Lawpath as part of the Content Team. He is in his final year of a Bachelor of Laws with the degree of Bachelor of Information Technology (Major in Information Systems and Business Analysis) at Macquarie University. He is interested in IT Law and Access to Justice.