4 December 2018

A new data right for all Australians

Australians will soon be able to better compare prices and switch between products and providers across the banking, energy and telecommunications sectors, with the Liberal National Government introducing legislation into the Parliament this week that gives individuals access to personal data currently held by businesses.

It marks the beginning of a data revolution, with Australia set to become a world leader in implementing an economy-wide right for consumers to access and use data that businesses hold about them.

The legislation will establish a Consumer Data Right which will not only give individuals and small businesses the right to access their own data, but also allow them to authorise accredited third parties to access it.

This means people’s actual circumstances can be more accurately taken into account when engaging with product and service providers. It will allow for consumers to more easily compare prices, switch between products and providers and have products and services customised to their individual needs.

Better access to data will also support more efficient processes for businesses, with savings flowing through to consumers. Improved competition and data-driven innovation will support economic growth and create new high value jobs in Australia.

The Consumer Data Right will first apply in the banking sector, where it is referred to as Open Banking, from 1 July 2019. It will then be applied to the energy and telecommunications sectors.

This reform will implement commitments made by the Government in response to our Review into Open Banking in Australia and the Productivity Commission’s Data Availability and Use Inquiry.

The reforms will be overseen by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, with a new Data Standards Body developing transfer and security standards. High levels of privacy protection and information security will be a core feature of the system.

The Consumer Data Right is part of the Liberal National Government’s plan for a stronger economy.