Coming Soon: Consumer Data Right and the Government’s Response to the PC Report

On 26 November 2017 the Government announced that it will legislate a national Consumer Data Right in 2018, allowing customers open access to their data. Minister Taylor, Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, said that the Consumer Data Right will be “the biggest reform to consumer law in a generation” which will make it easier for consumers to switch to a better deal.

Following the Prime Minister’s recent agreement with electricity retailers and the Treasurer’s open banking initiative, the Consumer Data Right will be established sector-by-sector, beginning in the banking, energy and telecommunications sectors.

The announcement of the Consumer Data Right follows the Productivity Commissioner’s recommendation of establishing a ‘Comprehensive Consumer Right’ that would see consumers in effect having a ‘joint right’ with organisations over their consumer data, and which would enable consumers to instruct businesses to transfer their data to third parties, including competitors.   The Government establish the Data Availability & Use Taskforce within the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Office to prepare its formal response to the PC Final Report.  We expect the Government will release its full response to the PC Final Report in the coming weeks and will keep you updated on any developments.

As you are aware, DGA recently released its Code of Practice, which sets industry benchmarks for the responsible and ethical use of data. Importantly, the Code of Practice enables DGA to facilitate the development of sector-specific portability schemes through a self-regulatory model.  DGA will continue to engage with the Federal Government to ensure that any consumer data right is industry-led and will not stifle innovation.