What Is The Consumer Data Right (CDR)?

The proposed Consumer Data Right provides consumers and businesses with the right to conveniently access information. The information that people can access is data held by businesses, that relates to them and the goods and services they use.

The Consumer Data Right Bill

In 2017, the Productivity Commission created a report into data availability and use in response to the Treasurer’s request to find the benefits and costs of increasing availability of, and improving the use of public and private sector data. In the same year, the Treasurer also commissioned a Review into Open Banking in Australia to get recommendations on the best possible model for Open Banking in Australia. As a consequence of both these recommendations (as well as several others), the Government has decided to introduce a Consumer Data Right (CDR) to give consumers greater control over their data.

The new CDR has been introduced in the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2019 (Cth). The main purpose of the Bill will be to:

  • seek an increase in competition so consumers can make informed decisions;
  • create opportunities so new businesses and ideas can grow; and
  • create transparency in relation to consumer data.

When the Bill comes into effect on 1 July 2019, it will amend the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 (Cth) and the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)

A Consumer Data Right

The primary aim of CDR’s is to give consumers access and use of more information about themselves, and the goods and services they use. Information is of a manner that allows consumers to make more informed decisions. Therefore it will foster increased competition, enabling consumers to find the value of their data.

The right will be available as part of a ‘seamless experience’ with service providers, in a way that is clear to consumers that they can exercise their right to transfer data to that service provider. However, consumers will only be able to use their CDR to transfer their data to trusted third parties. Trusted third parties that receive consumer data must receive accreditation, which is set by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

How The New Consumer Data Rights Could Affect Your Business

So how exactly will the new rights affect how you do business? Initially, the CDR will only affect the banking, energy and telecommunications sectors. But eventually, the right will be expanded economy-wide.

The CDR enables consumers to hold the value of consumer data, enabling new business opportunities to emerge as new ways of using the data are created. In the CDR system, consumers are the decision makers. They will be able to direct where their data goes in order to receive the most value from it.

The CDR requires businesses to give public access to information on certain products they offer. The right is designed so that the information given leads to more choice in where they take their business. For example, having more transparency in regards to consumer data will allow businesses to:

  • find better lending products based on past borrowing needs;
  • recommend products based on spending and repayment patterns;
  • help consumers pick a better energy plan based on their past energy use; and
  • assist consumers in finding service providers based on mobile and internet use.

Conclusion

Therefore, the CDR will affect how consumers choose where the take their business. It will also affect the competition between business with similar products and services. To ensure you understand how to comply with the CDR, consult a commercial lawyer for expert legal advice.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest lawyer marketplace.

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