Australian Treasury Releases Draft Bill on Consumer Data Right

By Jim Bulling, Daniel Knight and Felix Charlesworth

On 15 August 2018, Treasury opened consultation on the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2018 (CDR Bill).  The CDR Bill broadly sets out the legislative framework for providing consumers with the right to access to specified data held in relation to them by businesses and authorises secure access to this data by certain accredited third parties.

The initial application for the CDR Bill will relate to the access of banking data (as known as Open Banking).  However, the CDR Bill also empowers of the Minister to determine which other sectors of the Australian economy to which this legislation will apply to in the future.  As stated in the explanatory memorandum for the CDR Bill, the Government has committed that the telecommunications and energy sectors will soon also be subject to the CDR Bill.

The CDR Bill empowers the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to make  specific rules (CDR Rules) which will, among other things, set out:

  • how consumers can direct their data holders to provide their data;
  • the reporting and record keeping requirements; and
  • the accreditation requirements for entities seeking to- receive consumer data.

The CDR Bill also creates a Data Standards Body tasked with determining the required format for any  data which is to be transferred from one entity to an accredited receiving entity.  These specifications are intended to complement the CDR Rules for each sector.  Finally, the CDR Bill sets out ‘privacy safeguards’ which are intended to act as a substitute to the Australian Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act.

The ACCC will be releasing the CDR Rules on Open Banking in the coming weeks. Submissions on the draft Bill close at 5pm Friday 7 September 2018.

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