Consumer Data Right information

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched a four-week consultation on new rules relating to the Consumer Data Right (CDR).

The CDR aims to give consumers greater access and control over their data in relation to banking and energy. It is hoped that it will improve consumers’ ability to compare and switch between products and services, and promote competition and innovation.

From July 2020, the major banks must share certain consumer data, such as data relating to credit and debit cards, deposit accounts and transaction accounts, where directed by a consumer to do so. Consumer data relating to mortgage and personal loan data must be available to share from November 2020.

The current rules (Competition and Consumer [Consumer Data Right] Rules 2020) came into effect on 6 February 2020 and provide individuals and businesses with a right to access data relating to them, and to consent to secure access to their data by accredited third parties.

However, the rules do not provide for the use of third-party service providers who collect or facilitate the collection of CDR data on behalf of accredited persons (i.e. intermediaries).

Following industry feedback, the ACCC is now consulting on new draft rules that will authorise third parties that are accredited at the “unrestricted” level to collect CDR data on behalf of another accredited person.

The draft rules allow a customer-facing accredited data recipient (the person from which a good or service is requested, known as “the principal”) to engage the services of another accredited person (the person that assists a principal to provide good or services to consumers – including collecting CDR data on behalf of the principal – known as “the provider”) under a “combined accredited person” (CAP) arrangement.

This arrangement enables an accredited provider to collect and/or use and disclose CDR data to provide services to the principal in order for the principal to provide the requested goods or services to a consumer.

“This will allow accredited persons to utilise other accredited parties to collect Consumer Data Right data and provide other services that facilitate the provision of goods and services to consumers,” the ACCC said.

“These rules propose a more flexible liability structure than currently provided for in relation to use of outsourced service providers.”

It added: “The ACCC recognises the importance of rules accommodating the use of third parties to collect Consumer Data Right data from data holders on behalf of accredited persons…

“Such parties already operate in the financial services sector and the data economy more generally, and will support the uptake of the Consumer Data Right and the development of innovative new products and services through creating efficiencies for accredited persons.”

The rules cannot currently provide for collection of Consumer Data Right data by non-accredited persons.

Interested parties will have until Monday, 20 July 2020, to provide submissions on the proposed rules. Submissions will be published on the ACCC website.

The ACCC has said that it will also be hosting a “workshop style discussion with interested stakeholders during the consultation period” given the “high level of interest in this topic and that stakeholders may have queries and views that they wish to share with [the ACCC] directly”.

 

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