Why do we need this Bill?

On this page we explain what problems the Bill aims to fix, and how it will enable 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 person or small business 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, customers are generally unable to access or exchange their data in a secure and automated way that enables its full potential to be used.

The aim of the Bill is to give customers greater control over their data, by allowing them to choose to exchange it with trusted third parties

The Bill seeks to unlock 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 legislation are accredited as trustworthy.

In practical terms, it will give customers the power to require 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 Bill 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 Bill is intended 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. The Bill also creates opportunity for business-to-business solutions, Māori data initiatives, and improved accessibility and inclusion.

Last updated: 23 May 2024 Last reviewed: 01 August 2023