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Regulator seeks public input on Consumer Data Right rules

Regulator seeks public input on Consumer Data Right rules

Australia’s competition watchdog is seeking public feedback on the Consumer Data Right rules, which will centre around banking.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is encouraging feedback from consumers, businesses and community organisations on its proposed approach to setting up the rules around the yet-to-be-legislated Consumer Data Right (CDR).

Under the draft Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2018, released last month, individual and business consumers will be able to access their own data or direct custodians to share their data with accredited entities such as banks, telcos, energy companies and comparison service providers to get tailored access to services and competitive deals.

The ACCC has been delegated the lead role in setting up the rules, educating consumers and enforcing the CDR, which is set to come into effect on 1 July 2019 as part of the open banking regime.

The competition watchdog has already set up a dedicated Consumer Data Right Branch, which will be finalising the rules around the accreditation of an entity, use, storage, disclosure and accuracy of CDR data; the format of CDR data; and the data standards.

The types of data that customers will be able to request be shared with authorised recipients include basic contact and account information, product data and transaction data.

The ACCC’s proposed minimum transaction data set includes the opening and closing balance of an account during a specified period, transaction amounts, dates of transactions, identifiers for parties involved in a transaction, balances prior to and following transactions, as well as descriptions and categories of transactions.

The draft framework, released on Wednesday (12 September), also includes proposed accreditation rules for entities that will be authorised to receive data, with the ACCC considering a single general tier of accreditation for the initial version of the CDR rules.

The competition watchdog’s intention is to facilitate a phased roll-out of open banking, with the first tranche of rules not designed to address every issue.

“It is important to the success of the Consumer Data Right regime that consumers, businesses and stakeholders have transparency over the ACCC’s approach in setting up these detailed rules,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

“The overarching principle the ACCC will take is to implement the Consumer Data Right in a way that provides benefits to consumers, without compromising data security.

“The Consumer Data Right will be a major change in the way consumers can use their data, and consulting the views of consumers and businesses is a top priority for the ACCC.”

The ACCC expects the other sectors to fall under the CDR, including energy and telecommunications, will be governed largely by the same rules formed around banking, but refined where necessary.

Under the draft legislation, the competition watchdog would have the power to determine how the CDR functions in each sector.

The draft legislation explanatory memorandum stated that while it might appear that the ACCC is being handed “significant powers to create consumer data rules”, it suggested that the broader context be considered.

“The CDR will be applied across very different sectors of the economy which are already subject to various regulatory regimes. As a result, the government considers it important to provide direction to the ACCC on the types of consumer data rules that can be made, balanced with the flexibility to make rules that are appropriate and adapted to any industry that might become designated into the future,” the explanatory memorandum stated.

[Related: Australia’s impending Consumer Data Right an ‘ambitious policy’]

Regulator seeks public input on Consumer Data Right rules
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