The Federal Government is developing reforms to give consumers greater access and control over their data held by companies they do business with, like banks, energy companies and telcos. The Consumer Data Right will allow customers to transfer their data to different providers to see if those providers offer products that would be more suitable, at a better price.

For consumers, greater use and control of their data could provide significant benefits through helping them to find services they need at reduced prices.

In this consultation, The Treasury is asking for comments on the draft legislation that will underpin the consumer data right, before the legislation is introduced into Federal Parliament.

Access to data and information can be transformative, and ACCAN supports the measures to harness the collection and use of data to provide better outcomes for consumers. For those consumers on low incomes in particular, the proposed reforms may allow them to obtain greater discounts and better deals.

ACCAN is supportive of the proposed reforms, but has concerns that aspects of the draft legislation will mean that the reforms may fail to provide the greatest possible benefits to consumers. In particular we are concerned that the current draft the Bill does not adequately:

  • Provide privacy protections to consumers;
  • Empower consumers to engage with their privacy through requirements for genuine consent;
  • Protect vulnerable consumer groups that may face price discrimination enabled by greater business access to consumer data;

We are also concerned at the potential for consumer data to be used for anti-competitive conduct.

ACCAN strongly supports further refinement of the draft legislation to ensure that the consumer data right framework maximises the potential benefits to consumers, and to address areas of potential risk. This would involve expanding the scope of privacy protections for consumers, providing consumers greater control over their information through requirements for genuine consent requirement, and constraining the potential for data to be used to the detriment of consumers.

Throughout the submission we draw upon our members’ feedback and views on the issues that consumers may face based on the current drafting of the legislation. See link below for a full copy of the submission.

Download:  docxACCAN submission to the Treasury Laws Amendment Consumer Data Right Bill 2018937.75 KB
Download:  pdfACCAN submission to the Treasury Laws Amendment Consumer Data Right Bill 20181015.93 KB