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shutterstock 159902675What is the Consumer Data Right (CDR)?

The CDR refers to the right of consumers to safely access certain data about themselves that is held by businesses. This data will be provided to consumers in a practical form and in a timely manner.

The CDR will also allow consumers to transfer their data to trusted third parties of their choice, and will require businesses to inform consumers about the disclosure of data to third parties.

Who does the CDR affect?

The CDR will affect everyday consumers who engage with sectors covered by the legislation.
The Federal Government is initially rolling out the CDR across three industries:

  1. Banking (also referred to as Open Banking)
  2. Energy
  3. Telecommunications

 

The Government will be phasing in Open Banking during the next year and a half. It is hoped that the big four banks (Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac and ANZ) will make customer data on credit and debit cards, deposit and transaction accounts available by 1st July, 2019. Consumer information on mortgages has an extended timeline, with data expected to be available by 1st February, 2020.

Once Open Banking has been implemented, the CDR will roll out to the energy and telecommunications industries. The specifications of what data will be covered in these industries and their proposed implementation dates is currently unknown.

What are the benefits of the CDR?

The CDR aims to improve customer choice and competition across participating industries by allowing data to be safety shared with trusted partners, such as comparison websites. This would allow for personalised, accurate comparisons between providers that will allow consumers to search out the best deal for them and their needs.

Example – Sally has a post-paid mobile phone plan with Provider A, where she receives unlimited calls and texts plus 5GB of data for $35 per month. With the CDR, Sally can choose to share her data (such as how many calls she makes per month, her data usage etc.) with a comparison site. By analysing Sally’s data, the comparison site finds her a better offer that is personalised to her mobile needs with Provider B, without Sally having to manually compare plans.

It is hoped that in the long term the CDR will encourage providers to offer greater value products for consumers as the transparency of data will encourage ongoing comparison.

 How will personal data and consumer information be protected?

Security and privacy protection will need to be a key element of any finalised CDR legislation. ACCAN will work to ensure that adequate safeguards are put in place so that the best possible outcome for consumers is achieved.

The Open Banking Review has proposed a number of consumer safeguards in their recommendations to the Government. Among these are the accreditation of data recipients; the introduction of transfer, security and data standards; a strong role for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner in advising on and enforcing privacy protections; and a range of avenues for customers to seek meaningful remedies for breaches.

For more information on the CDR, head to https://treasury.gov.au/consumer-data-right/