The Productivity Commission Inquiry Report into Data Availability and Use (Data Report) recommended the introduction of a new right for consumers that would allow them to 'trade and use' their data. This report led to the Review into Open Banking in Australia's Issues Paper under which consumers could request financial institutions to provide or share their data (Open Banking).
While Open Banking is the first consultation in respect of a specific industry that has resulted from the Data Report, it is our expectation that the Data Report's principles and recommendations should be of general application and apply more generally across the economy in a consistent manner.
If our expectation is correct, then it seems fundamental to us that the principles and regulatory framework that are developed for Open Banking must be capable of being applied across all sectors of the economy (with common principles but also with the flexibility in the regulatory design for the principles to be adapted to a specific sector), as and when the Government so decides, and not be specific to the financial services industry.
Furthermore, if the Open Data regime is applied more broadly across the economy, it may be advisable at a later stage to introduce a requirement for data recipients to submit to the regime to ensure that competition is supported and parties are not gaining the benefits of receiving data without also being willing to share their own data.
Our submission on Open Banking is divided into seven key propositions:
- Categories of consumer data drive the regulatory framework
- Consumers should be individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises
- The Open Banking model should be predominantly principles-based
- Liability under Open Banking should travel with the data
- Licensing system is not recommended for general consumer data
- Make use of existing regulatory expertise
- Recoupment of costs.