Australians to own their own banking, energy, phone and internet data

Release Date: 
26 November 2017
Media release

The Turnbull Government will legislate a national Consumer Data Right, allowing customers open access to their banking, energy, phone and internet transactions.

Australians will be able to compare offers, get access to cheaper products and plans to help them ‘make the switch’ and get greater value for money.

Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said it was the biggest reform to consumer law in a generation.

“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,” Assistant Minister Taylor said.

“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.”

The Consumer Data Right was one of 41 recommendations from the Productivity Commission’s Data Availability and Use Inquiry, tabled in parliament in May this year. The Government’s formal response to the inquiry will be published in coming weeks.

“It won’t be far down the track when you can simply tap your smartphone to switch from one bank to another, to a cheaper internet plan, or between energy companies. Government is lifting the lid on competition in consumer services and technology is the enabler,” Assistant Minister Taylor said.

Following on from the Prime Minister’s recent agreement with electricity retailers, and the Treasurer’s open banking initiative, the Consumer Data Right will be established sector-by-sector, beginning in the banking, energy and telecommunications sectors.

Utilities will be required to provide standard, comparable, easy-to-read digital information, that third parties can readily access. New Commonwealth legislation to give effect to these reforms will be brought forward in 2018.

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