A 'Consumer Data Rights' law, planned for 2018, will give Australian consumers access to their data being held by telecommunications and energy companies, and banks.
The consumer rights legislation will eventually span all sectors, however the Government is starting with banking, utilities, and telecommunications companies.
Under the new law, telco's will have to supply consumers with their usage data so they can understand their actual consumption levels and better identify the best plan for them.
Energy providers will similarly be required to provide "standard, comparable, easy-to-read digital information that third parties can readily access."
Energy providers have been in the government's sights for open data for some time, and agreed in August to to send letters to customers before Christmas explaining how they could save money on their bills.
Banks will be required to share the data they hold on a customer. The Treasury is currently undertaking a review into how the scheme will operate and is due to deliver its report before the end of the year.
"Too difficult to switch" says Minister
Announcing that the legislation would be introduced in 2018, Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, said it is currently too difficult for consumers to access their data records.
“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."
"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."
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