The Consumer Data Right program seeks to give individuals and businesses the right to safely access certain data about themselves held by businesses, and direct that access to this data be given to accredited, trusted third parties of their choice. The Consumer Data Right is to be an economy wide initiative rolled out on a sector-by-sector basis, starting in the banking sector (where it is known as Open Banking).
The Consumer Data Right requires the involvement of a number of government bodies, including Treasury, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and the newly established Data Standards Body which resides in the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
Treasury has continued to progress implementation of the Consumer Data Right through 2019-2020. The regime commenced from 1 July 2019, when three of the four major banks voluntarily made product reference data available for specific account types. On 12 August 2019, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Act 2019 received Royal Assent, formally creating the legal basis for the Consumer Data Right. On 4 February 2020, the ACCC made the Competition and Consumer (Consumer Data Right) Rules 2020 to facilitate a minimum viable product for consumer data sharing, and the Data Standards Body made the supporting technical standards. From 1 July 2020, consumers have been able to direct the four major banks to share usage information relating to specific data sets with accredited third parties.
Data standards chair
The position of Data Standards Chair was created upon commencement of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Act 2019 on 12 August 2019. The Treasurer appointed Mr Andrew Stevens as the Chair on 14 August 2019.
The Chair is an official of Treasury. The legislated functions and powers of the Chair are to make and review the Consumer Data Right’s Data Standards, and establish committees, advisory panels and consultative groups to assist with stakeholder consultation for the development of the Data Standards. For each new sector of the Consumer Data Right, the Chair is to develop data transfer, format and security standards. Standards are to be developed in accordance with the requirements of the Consumer Data Right rules, which are made by the ACCC. The Chair is supported by the Data Standards Body.
Over 2019-20, the Chair has issued three iterations of the Data Standards to support the February, July and November 2020 launch stages of the regime, together with supporting customer experience and general guidance material.
The Chair also established a Data Standards Advisory Committee, holding ten meetings during the period; and an Energy Data Standards Advisory Committee, holding six meetings during the period. Additionally, he established other consultative processes including a GitHub forum, various working groups and stakeholder workshops. The research agenda for the period explicitly included a focus on vulnerable consumers, which is intended to continue into 2020-21.