Executive Summary: Unlocking value from our customer data

When businesses like banks, power companies and mobile phone companies provide us with services, data is created – for example, account histories, transactions or usage. This is ‘customer data’. It is held by businesses and is protected by business security measures, as well as the Privacy Act 2020 in the case of personal information.

Customer data holds enormous value and opportunity, but only if customers are able to make full use of it and connect it with digital applications, or with collectives they trust. For example, electricity usage information can help people find the cheapest power company and plan, or reduce their carbon emissions. Bank records can provide insights into household expenses or streamline the process of applying for a loan.

People can already ask for their data to be provided to their accountants, banks or others – but there are problems. Businesses don’t have the same rights as individuals to access their data, and the way it is accessed can be inefficient and insecure.

The draft Customer and Product Data Bill (the draft law) unlocks the value of data for people and their businesses by:

  • improving customers access and control of their own data
  • standardising how data is exchanged
  • ensuring those who request access to data are accredited as trustworthy.

The draft law will also require businesses to make information about their products available in ways that can be automatically processed by a computer. This will make it easier to compare and switch.

The aim is to help innovators in our economy create new products and services and increase competition. This in turn will benefit customers by leading to reduced prices, improved product offerings, and greater productivity. There are also opportunities to support by-Māori, for-Māori data initiatives, business-to-business applications, and improved accessibility and inclusion.

The rules will apply to banking first. Other sectors will be included in future.

Currently, it is generally difficult for consumers to access or exchange data held about them. The draft law will complement existing Privacy Act protections and data security measures.

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We want your feedback on how this new system should work. Below are the key issues that we would like to hear from submitters on, but feedback is welcome on all aspects of the system.

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