ACCC launches tool to help with Consumer Data Right transformation

New free tool is part of the ongoing rollout of the CDR legislative framework, which commenced with the banking industry in 2020

Organisations that will increasingly fall under Australia’s Consumer Data Right legislation are now being offered a free tool by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to help them prepare.

The ACCC this week launched the Consumer Data Right (CDR) sandbox, a free tool designed to help existing and potential CDR participants test and improve their CDR solutions. The regulatory watchdog said the aim is to help organisations reduce the time and cost in the process of becoming an active CDR participant or updating their CDR offering.

As a hosted environment, the CDR Sandbox behaves and functions like the actual CDR ecosystem. Participants – both data holders and accredited data recipients - can set up their own software solutions and communicate with the existing mock solutions and other participants within a secure testing environment. There’s also pre-live development support to help those as they move to becoming active, and to help with data quality when data is shared between participants. The sandbox will also remain available to participants after they become active, to assist them in refining and developing their services and products.

Other mock solution tools already released by the ACCC include the mock solutions source code available from the Consumer Data Right GitHub (link is external) and the mock solution container images from the Consumer Data Right Docker Hub (link is external).

“Creating a sandbox to complement our existing mock solutions tools is just one of many steps we are taking to make the process for businesses joining the Consumer Data Right easier and more affordable,” ACCC Commissioner, Peter Crone, said. “The CDR sandbox will also help participants improve the effectiveness of their data sharing offerings.

“As the CDR develops, it is important that flexible testing options are available for participants wanting to become active in the Consumer Data Right, so that the ecosystem can expand, and consumers can have more and more choices.”

The CDR is all about giving consumers control of their own digital data and information held by a range of institutions. The legislation, which debuted in late 2016, followed a Productivity Commission inquiry that called for a revolution of the country’s data policy framework. The plan received $44.6 million in the 2019 Federal Budget to implement a framework for consumer data portability and transparency. 

The first instance of CDR launched in 2020 across the banking industry and is known as Open Banking. The energy and telecommunications sectors will be the next to follow under the CDR regulatory framework.

Last week, the Bank of Queensland paid a penalty of $133,200 after the ACCC issued it with an infringement notice for allegedly breaching CDR rules by failing to provide a service enabling consumers’ data to be shared.

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