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Sunday, 31 March 2019 05:21

ACCC releases Consumer Data Right draft rules, seeks feedback Featured

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ACCC releases Consumer Data Right draft rules, seeks feedback Image by dawnfu from Pixabay

The Australian competition watchdog has released draft rules for the Consumer Data Right and has invited consumers, businesses and community organisations to send in their feedback by 10 May so that the rules can take effect from 1 July.

The Federal Government had promised in November 2017 that legislation for the CDR would be passed the following year. At that time, then Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, said: “Government is pursuing the very simple idea that the customer should own their own data. It is a powerful idea and a very important one.

“Australians have been missing out because it’s too hard to switch to something better. You may be able to access your recent banking transactions, or compare this quarter’s energy bill to the last, but it sure isn’t quick or easy to work out if you can get a better deal elsewhere.”

In a statement on Friday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the CDR would commence in the banking sector and make it possible for consumers to gain access to their banking data and have it sent to providers with whom they preferred to deal.

For example, this might be comparator or switching services or companies/individuals who provided financial or budgeting advice. The ACCC said the rules would eventually apply across numerous sectors.

Outlining the basic rules, the ACCC said any consumer could ask a data holder to provide CDR data that was related to a product offered by the data holder - this is known as a product data request.

The data would be released in machine-readable format and could be used in way that the person who asked for it thought suitable.

A second type of request was when a consumer asks a data holder to release CDR data that relates to them. This consumer data request had to be made online, using a service that the data holder would have to provide. This had to be disclosed in human-readable format.

And a third request was when a consumer asked a qualified individual to request CDR data on his or her behalf. This request had to be provided to the accredited person in machine-readable format.

According to a statement by ACCC chairman Rod Sims in May last year, Open Banking would be implemented in phases, with the aim that all major banks would make:

  • data on credit and debit card, deposit and transaction accounts available by July 2019;
  • data on mortgages available by February 2020; and
  • data on remaining products available by July 2020.

“The draft CDR rules allow companies working in the banking sector to begin planning and move towards the start of the consumer data right in banking, with some greater detail and guidance as to how it will work,” ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said on Friday.

“We also know there are a number of privacy advocates, consumer organisations and others who will be very interested to see these draft rules, and we welcome views.”

The watchdog said it was aware that there were loose edges to be tied up before the CDR could be put in place - including the passing of enabling laws - but added that public consultation on the draft was the best way to ensure that the final format was the best that could be achieved.

“We are continuing to work through important issues, such as guidance for potential data recipients on the requirements for accreditation, and the operation of a pilot that is scheduled to begin in July 2019," Court added.

Those who are interested in making submissions can visit the ACCC's consultation hub.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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