Key takeaways

  • The Australian Federal Government has committed $45 million to establishing the Consumer Data Right.
  • Identity 3.0 envisages a platform where users can manage and update their information according to their needs and preferences.
  • Giving the control of data back to the consumer presents an opportunity for business to add value to those who share with them.

Among the announcements from Australia’s federal treasurer Scott Morrison at this year’s budget was a commitment to put the power of data back in the hands of consumers.

Amid a swag of tech-related spending, including $2.4 billion on technology infrastructure including investment in AI and machine learning, the government pledged $45 million over four years to establish a Consumer Data Right, originally flagged last year through a Productivity Commission Inquiry on competition in Australia’s financial system.1

Running alongside the Open Banking Regime, which will make it easier for customers to access their financial records and transport it to another provider, the government signaled a financial commitment to transforming the way data is handled in Australia – following suit on the impending arrival of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. The overhaul is a long time coming.

The new system is designed not only to empower consumers, but enables them to share their data with businesses that can then use that data to offer more tailored products and services.

Identity 3.0

This concept was explored in a paper by PwC together with Australia Post and QUT, Identity 3.0 The Platform for the People back in 2015. We know that customers want to connect with brands, but high profile cyber attacks that have stolen consumer data have made people wary about how much they share (as well as raising questions about data’s intrinsic value).

Identity 3.0 is the stage in the evolution of data management when a consumers’ digital identity is taken out of the hands – and control – of corporations and placed into a centrally managed platform owned by the user. They can then control, curate and cultivate it as they like.

The paper argued that the digital economy had reached a level of maturity that could facilitate this next version of digital identity, and the treasurer’s announcement emboldened that notion, as part of a broader $65 million spend on reforming Australia’s data system.2

According to the budget documents, establishing the Consumer Data Right will “give consumers greater control of their personal data and the choice to direct businesses to share [their data]  safely with trusted recipients, who in turn will be able to offer better deals through innovative products and comparison services”.3

Experience is

We know that customer experience must sit at the heart of any business strategy, and be the core of any digital transformation. The ‘always on’ customer is driving much of the transformation in the marketplace – customers are pulling product, rather than manufacturers pushing it. If their needs are not met, they’ll go elsewhere, and there is no shortage of competition.

The addition of data laws and entitlements, which are following a global wave of regulation on how data is handled and used, should not be seen as a hindrance to doing business, but as an opportunity to add value to the customer. For example, organisations that understand their customers’ needs can proactively address issues before the customer raises them, and businesses can predict changes in a user’s attributes or habits and intervene to improve retention.

If a customer is willing to share that data with a business, the organisation must ensure that it gives back in the form of added value. At the end of the day, it’s all about experience.



For further insights, visit PwC Australia’s 2018 Federal Budget site.



John Riccio

John is a former partner at PwC Australia and the founder of Digital Pulse.

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