House debates

Tuesday, 30 July 2019


Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2019; Second Reading

5:01 pm

Photo of Stephen JonesStephen Jones (Whitlam, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

by leave—In continuation, Labor supports these reforms. The competition benefits are clear. It's time to act. But it's important to know that the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2019 is not the end of the line. It simply establishes a framework for consumers to access and transfer data between businesses. It's not a comprehensive framework for controlling your personal information, whether that be personal information held by banks or other financial institutions or personal information more broadly.

More needs to be done to improve the ability of ordinary Australians to control their data and their privacy. The ACCC's recent digital platforms inquiry supported a range of improvements to privacy protections. Firstly, it recommended giving consumers a right to delete across the economy—that is, allowing them to require data holders to erase their personal information; secondly, it recommended introducing rights for individuals to bring court actions against organisations that violate their privacies; thirdly, it recommended raising penalties for breaches of the Privacy Act; fourthly, it recommended strengthening consent and notification requirements; and, fifthly, it recommended prohibiting unfair contracts. We would encourage the government to consider each of these recommendations to help build a safer information economy. We would go further and say that it is absolutely essential that legislation be brought before the House to enact the recommendations of the excellent report of the ACCC.

We're also concerned about the existence of what is known within the sector as screen-scraping technologies. Some financial service companies are asking customers to provide them with sensitive login information, often in breach of the terms of service of their originating financial institution, and they are thereby scraping the data off their screens. The purpose is not necessarily nefarious; in fact, they are doing this in the absence of any other regime which enables the authorised transfer of data from one financial institution to another or to an intermediary. What we say is that something needs to be done which would further regulate or preclude these sorts of technologies. We shouldn't do this precipitously, but we now have, through this bill, a regime—a code, if you like—for dealing with the transfer of data within and between financial institutions, including banks. It should be seen as a complete code. If more needs to be done to deal with these other technologies then we will be, and are, calling on the government to act in this space.

More needs to be done to ensure that vulnerable consumers are not locked out of mainstream financial systems. All Australians deserve to be included within the economy. All Australians deserve to have access to credit services. We expect that the ACCC will work hard to prevent predatory lenders and other fringe financial services from using the consumer data right reforms or the absence of extensive coverage in other areas not covered by this bill to discriminate against or otherwise harm customers and target the most vulnerable of consumers. We will be watching carefully. We'll be supporting the legislation in this House and in the other place, but we will be watching carefully. We believe this bill, as important as it is, is not the last word on the matter. We commend the legislation to the House.

5:05 pm

Photo of Matt ThistlethwaiteMatt Thistlethwaite (Kingsford Smith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Financial Services) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm speaking in support of the amendment that's been moved by the shadow minister. More generally, this bill, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2019, creates a consumer data right framework with the intent to allow individuals and businesses to easily access consumer transaction data held by businesses. It's more commonly known as the open banking regime, because it will initially apply to the banking industry before being expanded to other industries throughout the country. It authorises secure access to a person's personal data by accredited third parties known as authorised data recipients.

Generally, Labor supports these reforms. But in the consultations that have been undertaken in respect of the bill many organisations raised issues concerning the use of data by particular organisations and privacy associated with the use of that data, and also about ensuring that people from low socioeconomic backgrounds in particular aren't locked out of the economy or locked out of credit associated with the discriminatory use of data against them.

The bill allows for the consumer data framework to be progressively extended across different sectors of the economy. It starts with banking and will then extend to energy, and telecommunications will follow later. Sectors will only be designed following extensive consultation and assessment by the ACCC and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. Under the framework, the ACCC will be empowered to set rules, accredit participants, oversee data standards and take enforcement action where consumers' rights are being seriously or systemically breached.

The reforms, if properly implemented, have the potential for the consumer data right to create a more dynamic economy through which new players, new products and competition can increase. Increasing competition, particularly in financial services and in the energy sector, should be one of the great benefits of this reform. Increased competition should come through the ability of consumers to shift between service providers and require service providers to give customers open access to their data in shifting. That data can relate to products that the consumer has been using, terms and conditions associated with the use of those products and transaction records, as well as credit histories and the like. Importantly, the consumer should be able to direct where the data goes.

On what we've seen with these reforms, Labor believe that more work needs to be done to improve the ability of ordinary Australians to control their own data and be satisfied and secure that their data is being used in the proper manner. The process of developing this highly complex initiative has been far from methodical. It reflects the government's rush to get this legislation introduced instead of creating good policy for a future economy.

There's been significant stakeholder concern that key details remain unclear, that processes designed for efficiency don't line up with existing rules or legislation and that a two-tiered system is simply unworkable. Some of those issues relate to consumers' ability to provide informed consent in relation to their data rights and significant knowledge gaps in the community about what sharing their data would mean. Many stakeholders have flagged a big concern with general education of the Australian public about what this all means: their rights associated with what data can be transferred, how it can be transferred and what can be done if someone feels that their data privacy has been breached. I know that there are provisions within the legislation and the explanatory memorandum goes through the role of the Privacy Act and also that of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, but nonetheless these concerns in the community do exist, and it's incumbent upon the government to make sure that those concerns are allayed, that they're consulting with individuals and groups who express those concerns and that they don't rush this policy.

We also must ensure that vulnerable consumers aren't locked out of the mainstream financial system. There have been concerns raised that people may have an adverse credit rating associated with a particular period in their life when something went wrong. It's not characteristic of their financial transaction history or indeed their financial security history, yet that data may be shared in a manner which locks them out of the mainstream financial system—in particular access to banking products, financial services, energy products and other products for sale in the wider community.

All Australians deserve to be included in our economy, and we expect that the ACCC will work hard to prevent predatory lenders and other fringe financial service providers from using consumer data right reforms to discriminate against and target the most vulnerable consumers. That's something that Labor is deeply concerned about. It's implicit in the second reading amendment that's been moved by the shadow minister, and it's something that we'll be seeking to interrogate the government further about as this bill proceeds through the parliament, particularly in the Senate.

Labor will watch carefully to ensure that vigorous regulations, rules and other legislative instruments set out under this bill protect the rights of consumers. We live in a world where, increasingly, data is driving decisions around people's right to participate within the economy and within society. It's a fact that we can't escape, but we as a parliament can put in place the necessary measures to ensure that people can feel safe about providing data and that the organisations that have access to that data aren't manipulating it or using it for ulterior motives that disadvantage people and consumers and prevent them from participating in the economy.

One of the great benefits of this reform should be consistency of data that's transferred, particularly around financial transactions and participation in energy schemes and the like, and ensuring that the data meets particular guidelines and that, when it is transferred, it is transferred in a manner that ensures that it's easy to understand; that consumers, importantly, understand what is being transferred; and that the provider of the transfer and the receiver of the transferred information are operating on the same platform to ensure consistency of that data. That should, of course, result in better outcomes for consumers and improved efficiency not only within industries but in the broader economy.

On the whole, this is a reform that's been coming for some time. It follows reforms that have occurred in other jurisdictions throughout the world that haven't been without fault and have had issues. Australia can certainly learn from some of the issues that have come up in other countries associated with this reform. Again we reiterate the point that more work needs to be done by the government, particularly around those privacy concerns and ensuring that vulnerable consumers aren't locked out of particular sectors of the economy and Australian society more generally.

5:14 pm

Photo of Ed HusicEd Husic (Chifley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Over 10 years ago, a bloke in a black skivvy strode onto a stage and declared to the world that the company he headed up would be releasing a new product that consumers would never have witnessed before, and that was this—the iPhone. At that point in time, there was a lot of excitement about what this new device would do but not much conception of how it would transform, in many respects, the way we live our lives and do business.

I'm thinking a lot about this example, about not knowing how the introduction of one method might lead to a multiplicity of new ways of doing things. I'm thinking about how that emerges, particularly in reference to what we're discussing today and opening up the use of data. In the banking sector, in the first instance, what might that do? A lot of people will be thinking about what parliament is considering today and they will wonder what it all means. This opens up all that data that used to sit in your major financial institution. It's not just about being able to select a product between big banks. It's smaller, more innovative firms, thinking of ways they can come up with a better deal or a better financial product or service, as opposed to what has been offered by a major financial institution. The way they can do that is by analysing your transaction data and coming up with a better solution, something that might benefit you more significantly than you've been accustomed to in the past.

There are people who look at this reform and wonder whether or not it's worth it, and it is a lot of money. From what I recall from the explanatory memorandum when this legislation was first introduced to the parliament in the last term, the compliance cost is somewhere near $100 million for our major financial institutions. This is a reform that does not come cheap for those major banks. There are some issues, potentially, for those banks in being able to upgrade older IT legacy systems, and this has been reflected upon by people such as Wayne Byres, the head of APRA. But, in spite of the costs and concerns, it is a reform whose time has well and truly come.

It has taken a bit to get here. There are a number of reasons for that. I think it is important, firstly, to recognise Scott Farrell, who did the opening banking report. I recall an article by James Eyers in the Financial Review that referred to Treasury officials saying that Scott Farrell's work was some of the most professional and well thought through work that had been done. The Farrell report was also recognised by Australia's fintech sector as being well thought through. It was also recognised as being gutsy in part, in that it was standing up to big interests that wanted to set things up, in terms of open banking, in a particular way. Farrell had the courage to stand up and say no, and he went counter to industry interests. He suggested, for example, much bigger roles for regulators such as the ACCC. I think the Farrell report is a terrific reflection on Scott Farrell. This report was brought down and put into the government's lap to respond to some time ago.

It has taken a bit to get here and I make two reflections. One is something, I think, should be sheeted home to the government. Another is something that's happening more broadly in society when it comes to people's appetite for the use of their data by bigger firms. The government has had three cracks at the legislation that we are discussing today. In consultation with stakeholders, when I was the shadow minister, around the shape of this legislation, one of the prevailing criticisms that came through from a number of stakeholders was that the government had attempted a number of times to put out draft forms of legislation—and I do commend them on it; they were up-front about it—but what I think a lot of people were critical of was that the government did not listen adequately, deeply, in a considered way, to some of the concerns that were being raised. That is what prompted us, in Labor, to argue that this needed to go to a Senate inquiry.

Although the government put the legislation out for public comment in a number of instances, it then finally decided, regardless of the criticisms, that it would—and off the top of my head, it brought it into the parliament in around late October or November last year—just put it through nonetheless. That's not the way that this legislation should be managed, given the impact. To be frank about this, I think that the Senate process strengthened this legislation that is now before the House. I understand that, as a result of some of the changes that have been made, consumer groups like CHOICE have now said that they are quite comfortable with what is being put forward. But that certainly wasn't the case through the course of last year.

This could have been done quicker if the government had actually taken on board some of the concerns. We're talking about consumers having control over their banking data and being able to authorise someone who will be accredited to obtain that from a data holder and then analyse it and come up with a product that would best suit consumers. But there was a point in time that the government actively contemplated allowing for a situation where data holders, major institutions, would be able to charge consumers for accessing that data, which is quite simply unacceptable, because a lot of that data could be easily transported over at the request of a consumer to get a better deal. In fact, the ACCC had specifically indicated in earlier versions of their rules framework that this would be a situation, the charging for the use of data, that they would not be comfortable with. I understand this is no longer going to be the case and the government, from what I am led to believe, will not have this type of thing occur. But, again, these are the types of things that people had been raising on a number of instances with the government and had been saying that this needed to be fixed, and the government took their time to fix it. It is good that we've got to a stage where, as a result of people being able to express their views about the shape of the government legislation, the government have finally responded and we have seen some changes as a result of that.

But there is something broader that's happening in the community, where there is a greater concern starting to emerge about the way in which data has been gathered by big firms and the way it's being used. The Labor opposition has, through the second reading amendment put forward by the shadow minister, rightly pointed out concerns around privacy. While it has been considered deeply in the development of this process, this will still be a system where people will be concerned that very sensitive data relating to peoples' financial circumstances may go somewhere inappropriately or not be dealt with. The big challenge for business and government is to demonstrate respect for data—respect in the way that it's captured, respect in the way that it's stored and respect in the way that it's used. Organisations like businesses and governments that fail to demonstrate a respect for data should face very forthright public criticism about that. Sometimes in some jurisdictions where open banking reforms have been undertaken you have seen big financial institutions suddenly discover a respect for data that didn't seem to exist previously. I would hate to think that some of the big institutions would use privacy and cybersecurity as ways to slow down open banking reform, but in some jurisdictions they have.

To be honest, it is not just smaller firms. Smaller accredited firms under this system will need to make absolutely sure and be confident that they are storing data in a secure way and to the confidence of the public. But that is not to say that just because you're a smaller firm you can't store data well. We have seen major data breaches that have affected major financial institutions. Most recently, with the NAB there were, I think, 13,000 people affected as the result of a recent breach. Size does not matter in this but respect for data does, and making sure you've got robust cybersecurity systems in place to protect data is very important. When setting up frameworks like open banking, it is certainly a lot more incumbent on government and businesses, either as data holders or accredited providers—or accredited firms in this case—to go above and beyond to demonstrate that their cybersecurity systems are at a grade where consumers can have utter confidence that their data is being treated well.

One of the two tests, in terms of what we're looking at with the open banking system, is awareness. In other jurisdictions where open banking has been rolled out, awareness has not necessarily met the effort that's been applied to put these systems in place. The result is: if people aren't aware that they can get a benefit out of an opening banking system, and it's not used, we're likely to spend $100 million on compliance effort, in the Australian context, for a system that may not necessarily be utilised by the broader consumer population. So that is an issue.

The other big test of this is: this cannot be a reform that just benefits high-net-worth individuals. For this open banking reform to be successful, it needs to demonstrate that it will benefit not just high-net-worth individuals but all consumers. I think this is a challenge particularly for the fintech sector, which I know has been champing at the bit to get access to this. It has been using some systems, which are reflected in the second reading amendment, such as screen scraping. Screen scraping had to be used by the fintech sector because we did not have an open banking regime in place. It should not have to be used if open banking becomes a reality. It is a practice that should become a relic of a bygone era. These are the types of practices that had to exist because there wasn't a system in place. Certainly we hope that the broader fintech community can demonstrate that this will be a reform that will generate benefit for not just wealthy people but lower income groups as well.

I want to reflect on the point that was made by the member for Kingsford Smith in relation to low-socioeconomic groups. For some time the RBA has been charting that cash is being relied upon less, in terms of currency, and that cashless and electronic systems, some of which will be promoted under this regime, are being used more and more. I do not think we are thinking deeply about the transition to a cashless society and its impact on lower income groups and, in particular, older citizens.

In the UK, it is being considered by the UK parliament. In fact, the Treasury Committee is starting to look at the impact of cashless societies on particularly vulnerable groups as we move towards using payWave, Apple Pay and Android Pay. Some people will be able to embrace that payment mechanism quite well. Others rely on cash and ATMs. As ATMs start to be withdrawn, what will happen to the older person, or the person who doesn't necessarily rely upon a credit card or an automated system to access their cash? If the UK parliament's considering it, I would strongly urge the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics to look at the issue of the impact of a cashless society on lower-income people and the older people in our community who still use those mechanisms to get access to their cash.

I've seen it in my own community in Shalvey, where a local facility that had been provided by the Commonwealth Bank was withdrawn. People were still using bankbooks and passbooks to get access to cash. When the CBA withdrew that facility, it had a big impact on older Australians in my area. So, again, while we are thinking of great new things and technological advances that are being unleashed as a result of some of the regimes that are being introduced here, we should also be taking time to think about those who may not necessarily get swept up in the technological revolution that we're all experiencing and enjoying and ensure that we have a system that is fit for many, not just for some on the basis of technology. We should be considering that digital divide.

5:29 pm

Photo of Andrew LeighAndrew Leigh (Fenner, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury) Share this | | Hansard source

A zettabyte is a billion terabytes. A decade ago, global annual data generation was less than one zettabyte. When the coalition came to office in 2013, it was a few zettabytes. Now it is around 25 zettabytes and projected next year to go to 40 zettabytes. We currently produce the same amount of digital data every two days as we did in a year in 2002. The rise of the Internet of Things and wearables technologies and falling storage costs have meant that data is ubiquitous and has the potential to greatly improve the quality of social services and business productivity.

In areas such as health data, energy and social services, it is possible to get significant advantages to the benefit of all Australians, and yet Australia currently lags behind other countries when it comes to access to data. As a report from the Australian Data Archive in 2016 noted

Australia is well behind the UK, US and most of Europe on open data. This is impacting Australia's ability to be competitive [in research] and its standing [in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences] discipline.

A study by the World Wide Web Foundation in 2016 ranked Australia's open data performance overall at 10th. In its impact category, we were a lousy 19th. Open data availability in Australia, according to that report, was particularly low compared to countries with similar governance structures, including not only larger countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, but also New Zealand, which has used longitudinal data from anonymised linked administrative datasets to identify young people who are particularly at risk. I gave a speech in Auckland last year about New Zealand's integrated data infrastructure systems and the way in which Australia could learn from that in order to deal with deep deprivation, linking together data that we have from the criminal justice system, education records and child support in order to provide quick, targeted intervention to assist extremely vulnerable populations.

Open data has great potential to improve outcomes in areas such as energy, telecommunications, financial services and insurance. But we need to make sure, as other speakers in this debate have noted, that we get right the issues around privacy. Shoshana Zuboff's book The Age ofSurveillance Capitalism talks about the way in which the ubiquity of data collection has expanded in scale—the zettabyte figures I began with. And in scope we are now collecting data in areas we previously didn't. She gives the example of Gmail's use of targeted advertisements based on words within emails—a form of surveillance which would have been an anathema to many people in the early days of the web but which is now taken for granted by Gmail users. In terms of activities, she gives the example of Pokemon Go, which was monetised through collaborations with private firms that paid to have Pokemon Go users attracted to areas outside their businesses, using big data to change real-world activity.

A report by the Productivity Commission reported that, while seven out of 10 Australians use social media and eight out of 10 participate in customer loyalty schemes, only four in 10 read privacy policies online and many Australians are unaware of the amount of data that is collected about them and how it is collected. But the Productivity Commission also made the point that increasing data use need not increase risk, that the sheer volume of data is not necessarily the driving factor and that we can construct rules that ensure that data is protected. One of the pleasing examples of this is the use of tokenisation in the area of credit cards. The likelihood that your credit card number will be stolen is now markedly lower than it was before the era of tokenisation. Used smartly, tokenising systems can ensure that we get far fewer data breaches than have happened in the past, where we've seen considerable numbers of data breaches take place in government and non-government agencies and that's undermined public confidence in data.

A terrific report done by Danny Gilligan for Reinventure uses the analogy of a brake and an accelerator, making the case that government has two roles when it comes to the data economy. It has a role of encouraging innovation—that's the accelerator role—through bodies such as Data61, and it has a role of ensuring that privacy is protected; you can think of that as the brake role. But he points out that in Australia the brake and the accelerator frequently sit in quite different parts of the government. Data61 sits distinct from bodies such as the Critical Infrastructure Centre, which is responsible for security and privacy. Danny Gilligan distinguishes that from Singapore, which brings together the brake and the accelerator much more effectively, ensuring that the Singapore government is speaking as one voice to potential innovators and ensuring that strategies such as tokenisation are pursued in order to avoid the risk of data breaches.

The productivity potential is significant. In their Commonwealth orange book 2019 the Grattan Institute said:

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken a similar approach, pointing out that the Australian banking sector has various characteristics which suggest that it is not, as the ACCC delicately puts it, 'vigorously competitive'. It refers to the concentrated market structure; high overall profit margins by international standards; the relatively quick pass-through of mortgage rate increases but slower pass-through of rate reductions, suggesting an asymmetry; and the low levels of customer switching.

    The ACCC points out that the Australian banking sector has various characteristics of the famous competitive forces strategy equilibrium model set out by Harvard Business School's Michael Porter, where he says firms can attain success by erecting high entry barriers, keeping suppliers weak and dispersed, curbing buyer power with high loyalty and reducing the likelihood of substitutes, and points out that those characteristics of firms making themselves productive show up in the Australian banking sector. The ACCC drew an analogy to telephone number portability, which was resisted in the telecommunications market by Telstra 15 to 20 years ago but which has proved to be a significant spur to competitive pressures. Making it easier for customers to switch banks and for customers to share their data to find out the best deal for them is a useful pro-competitive measure.

    We're seeing this in the United Kingdom at the moment where the rise of neobanks has been quite significant. Atom bank emerged in 2016; Starling has captured significant revenue growth, opening 520,000 personal accounts since 2016; Monzo has opened 1.6 million new accounts in Britain, opening 30,000 more each week according to The Economist magazine; Revolut has a banking licence in Lithuania and is expanding across the eurozone; and N26 has launched in Austria and Germany and is now in 24 European countries. You might be interested to know, Mr Deputy Speaker McVeigh, that N26 is named for the number of cubes that make up a Rubik's cube. Neobanks are currently capturing around a third of new account growth in the United Kingdom. The promise of open banking is clearly there and it is important that these facilities are available to those who don't want to spend a great deal of time shopping around.

    Like my colleagues, I'm very concerned about the impact that open banking could have on vulnerable Australians. We need to make sure that, in any shift towards a cashless economy, vulnerable Australians are not left behind. Yes, there is disproportionate use of high-level currency denominations by organised crime, and one of the ways of addressing organised crime could potentially come through that shift to a cashless economy. But those who are unbanked are, disproportionately, vulnerable Australians, and we need to make sure they are at the forefront of the minds of parliamentarians and public servants as we shape the new open banking environment.

    It's important, too, that we think about the role of defaults. We know that there is a history, not just in banking but in other sectors, of customers getting a good deal in their first year and then being defaulted into poorer-performing products. Open banking will work best if there are products or third parties that ensure that customers are reminded if their current bank is not offering them the best deal, if the legacy customers aren't being treated as well as the new customers. Behavioural economics has taught us that defaults matter and there is a stickiness to these things, so improving portability and the ability of customers to shop around is absolutely vital.

    I do take seriously the concerns of consumer groups around these issues—the importance of ensuring that we have a system that is not only rigorous and protected against data breaches but also perceived to be so by Australians. The risk to Australians of having a system in place where they don't feel that they can opt out is very real. This needs to be a system which has the consumer at its heart, where consumers are able to opt out and where the shift to open banking and, ultimately, the extension of a consumer data right to other sectors of the economy is very real.

    My friend and co-author Joshua Gans has done a great deal of work on the potential of data to spur economic growth. Providing confidentialised government datasets can potentially improve the productivity of firms in the economy. The website is useful, and not only the Commonwealth but state and territory governments have provided data to allow third-party services to emerge. These might be anything from a service that allows people to find the nearest public toilet, or find out when their bus is likely to arrive or to work out the local bin collections, to one that allows them to create useful mapping software.

    My brother, Tim Leigh, who works in GIS mapping, has been engaged in the question of how non-profit organisations can assist government, using those GIS data for the public good. There is huge potential for the zettabytes of data that are coming down the pipeline, if the government is smart about this, but it is absolutely vital that the systems are structured in such a way that we avoid data breaches, that privacy is protected and that the spectre of surveillance capitalism is not something which puts people off the significant pro-competitive benefits that can come from smart engagement with the data economy.

    5:43 pm

    Photo of David ColemanDavid Coleman (Banks, Liberal Party, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

    Firstly, I would like to thank all those members who have contributed to this important debate. This bill, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2019, will amend the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 to introduce a consumer data right and also open banking. With this bill, Australia implements an economy-wide data-access-and-use right for consumers. This is an important reform which will provide individuals and businesses with a right to access data relating to them and to authorise secure access to their data by accredited data recipients.

    It will also enable data about products on offer to be available in a machine readable form. The consumer data right will give consumers a right to determine which data is shared, on what terms it's shared and with whom it's shared. It is an important structural reform that will drive competition and improve the flow of information between sectors of the economy.

    The consumer data right is a game changer for consumers and small businesses that will enable consumers to better harness their data for their own benefit. Australian consumers will have improved access to data that will support better price comparison services, take into account the actual circumstances and promote more convenient switching between products and providers. Improved access to data will also enable the development of new, better and more convenient products and services, many customised to individuals' needs.

    Better access to data will support more efficient processes for businesses, particularly small businesses, with savings and better products and services flowing through to consumers. The consumer data right will also support data driven innovation across the economy, creating new, high-value jobs for Australians. The government has committed to applying the consumer data right to banking, where it is referred to as open banking, then to energy, telecommunications and eventually the economy as a whole.

    This bill creates the backbone of a single broader framework that can apply across all sectors while retaining the flexibility to recognise that data access arrangements must be able to adapt to different sectors, different data sets, different risks, different consumers' needs and, of course, changing technologies. This bill allows for the growth and evolution of the consumer data right by allowing new data sets to be added over time.

    Strong privacy and information security provisions are a fundamental design feature of the consumer data right. These protections include privacy safeguards and additional privacy protections through the consumer data rules. These will be backed by well-resourced regulators with access to appropriate investigation and enforcement powers through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. We expect that consumers and participants will see the benefits of the consumer data right as the affected markets become more competitive and more effective at delivering goods and services that meet the needs of consumers.

    I would like to thank the active and ongoing engagement by industry, consumer and privacy groups and the fintech sector in the development of this bill. I also thank them for their engagement in the Productivity Commission's Data Availability and Use Inquiry, their engagement in the Open Banking Review and their ongoing engagement in the development of rules by the ACCC and technical standards by Data61. I commend the bill to the House.

    Photo of John McVeighJohn McVeigh (Groom, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

    The original question was that this bill be now read a second time. To this the honourable member for Whitlam has moved as an amendment that all words after 'That' be omitted with a view to substituting other words. The immediate question is that the amendment be agreed to.

    Question negatived.

    Original question agreed to.

    Bill read a second time.