What does the draft law do?

On this page we explain why the draft law is being explored, what problems it seeks to address, and how it will create better outcomes for all in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Businesses today hold lots of data about their customers

When businesses like banks, power companies and mobile phone companies provide us with services, data is created – for example, account histories, transaction records or information on product 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).

This data could be used to improve the lives of customers, but customers are often prevented from unlocking its full value

Customer data holds enormous value and opportunity, but only if customers are able to make full use of it. For example, a customer may want to share information about their power usage with a price-comparison application to find out which power provider would be cheapest for them based on their consumption habits. Or they might want to put that information through a carbon-footprint calculator, to learn more about their emissions profile. 

Unfortunately, consumers are generally unable to access or exchange their data in a way that would enable them to unlock the full value of their data.

The draft law would give customers greater control over their data, by allowing them to choose to exchange it with trusted third parties

The draft law unlocks the value of data for people and their businesses by:

  • improving customers access to and control over their own data
  • allowing for customers to request that their data be exchanged in a standardised way, and
  • ensuring those who access data using the draft law are accredited as trustworthy.

In practical terms, it will give customers the power to ask that a business share their customer data with another, trusted business in a safe and secure manner. This will allow for new, data-enabled products and services to be created.

The draft law also means businesses will have to make information about their products available in formats that can be automatically read and processed by a computer. This will enable easy product comparison and switching.

This will improve outcomes for customers and create opportunities for new and exciting products and services

The draft law will 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. The draft law also creates opportunity to support by-Māori, for-Māori data initiatives, business-to-business applications, and improved accessibility and inclusion.

Watch: Customer and Product Data Bill explained

Last updated: 20 July 2023 Last reviewed: 01 August 2023