New Zealand Consumer Data Right – MBIE invites submissions

Home Insights New Zealand Consumer Data Right – MBIE invites submissions

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Contributed by: Liz Blythe and Vaash Singh

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Published on: August 19, 2020

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Following Minister Faafoi's open letter to banks regarding a potential Consumer Data Right (CDR) in New Zealand, MBIE has released a discussion document seeking submissions on whether New Zealand needs a CDR and what shape that CDR should take. 

At a very high level, CDRs provide individuals and businesses with a statutory ability to securely share data held about them with trusted third parties in a consistent machine-readable format. More information about CDRs is available here.

Why is a CDR being considered?

Increased competition, innovation, economic development and better outcomes for consumers are cited as key drivers behind the potential development of a CDR in New Zealand, closely aligning with the objectives of the Australian regime. 

While it is clear from the discussion document that the Government's thinking regarding a New Zealand CDR is still very much at a formative stage, MBIE's preliminary view is that there is a case for legislation in New Zealand to promote widespread secure data portability. 

The discussion document favours a CDR that is capable of being applied to a range of sectors via an Australian-style sectoral designation approach. 

Which sectors might be impacted?

Potential in-scope sectors specifically contemplated in the discussion document are banking, electricity and insurance, with MBIE explicitly referencing sectors with "high search and switch costs" as key areas of consideration.

MBIE also emphasises positive impacts for business in areas such as accounting, filing taxes, obtaining finance and insurance and receiving payments for goods and services.

How could a CDR be designed?

The discussion document considers a range of design factors and scope considerations and invites written submissions on each aspect identified. MBIE's initial preference appears to be a widely-scoped CDR for the benefit of all types of end-user customers (including individuals, businesses and other entities) on both a "read and write access" basis. 

The discussion document also requests proposals for alternative design options in addition to those outlined in the paper, with the stated assessment criteria including maintaining consumer trust in the regime, achieving the most effective multi-sector reach, relative speed to achieve widespread data portability and ensuring the costs do not outweigh the benefits of the regime. 

With Government seemingly still in the very early stages of developing its thinking in this space, stakeholders appear to have a genuine opportunity to influence the scope and direction of New Zealand policy in this area for the benefit of all Kiwis.

The MBIE discussion document can be viewed here. Public submissions are due by 10am Monday 5 October 2020. 
 
If you have any questions regarding the issues raised in the MBIE discussion document, how a CDR might affect organisations in your industry or you require support in responding to MBIE's request for submissions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

This article is intended only to provide a summary of the subject covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. No person should act in reliance on any statement contained in this publication without first obtaining specific professional advice. If you require any advice or further information on the subject matter of this newsletter, please contact the partner/solicitor in the firm who normally advises you, or alternatively contact one of the partners listed below.

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