Purpose of the Review
Section 56GH of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act) requires an independent review of the operation of Part IVD of the Act, which contains the primary legislation for the Consumer Data Right (CDR).
The requirement to conduct a review recognises the unique nature of the CDR and provides CDR-designated sectors, consumers and interested parties with an opportunity to reflect on the risks, issues and opportunities presented by the CDR. Reviews of this nature consider whether existing frameworks support the evolution of the CDR and the realisation of its objectives.
Terms of Reference
The CDR Statutory Review considered the following questions:
- Are the objects of Part IVD of the Act fit-for-purpose and optimally aligned to facilitate economy-wide expansion of the CDR?
- Do the existing assessment, designation, rule-making and standard-setting requirements of the CDR framework support future implementation of the CDR, including to government-held datasets?
- Does the current operation of the statutory settings enable the development of CDR-powered products and services to benefit consumers?
- Could the CDR statutory framework be revised to facilitate direct to consumer data sharing opportunities and address potential risks?
- Are further statutory changes required to support the policy aims of CDR and the delivery of its functions?
To inform the review, a public consultation and engagement process was undertaken.
A written report of the Review was provided to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services in July 2022. The Minister tabled copies of the report in each House of the Parliament on 29 September 2022.
Background to the Review
The Review was undertaken in the context of significant policy and governance developments in the CDR. This included the roll-out of the CDR to the banking sector, the introduction of rules to bring the energy sector into the CDR from late 2022 and the finalisation of the sectoral assessment and designation process for the telecommunications sector. The practical application of the CDR to these sectors provided a good opportunity to reflect on the efficacy of its statutory framework.
The CDR is a complex, multi-year initiative that will continue to grow and evolve over the next decade. As such, the Review considered policy, governance and other relevant recent developments in the CDR in responding to the Terms of Reference, including:
- The Australian Government response to the final report of the Inquiry into Future Directions for the Consumer Data Right (December 2020), which provided options to expand and enhance the functionality of the CDR
- The release of the Digital Economy Strategy (announced as part of the 2021-22 Budget), which set out a roadmap of initiatives to ensure Australia is a world-leading Digital Economy by 2030 – including the Australian Data Strategy, and the expansion of the Digital Identity System
- The CDR Strategic Assessment to inform the future expansion of the CDR, with a relevant consultation paper released by Treasury in July 2021
- Updates to CDR rules to support greater participation within the CDR ecosystem, and
- International developments in consumer-initiated data portability.