Australian consumers have little capacity to choose how digital data about them is used. The Productivity Commission recommended that Australian consumers be afforded a new Comprehensive Right to the use of their digital data. On 26 November 2017, the Government announced that it would legislate a national Consumer Data Right that would give consumers access to their data starting with banking, energy, phone and internet transactions data. Australian Government policy is to introduce a Consumer Data Right sector by sector. A Consumer Data Right in respect of information collected by a motor vehicle has a number of implications for consumers, manufacturers and dealerships, and AADA should be consulted before any legislated is enacted.
The ACCC New Car Retailing Industry Market Study (market study) identified telematics as an emerging issue with implications around access, control and ownership of data generated by the use of a car. The ACCC noted that the impact of access to technical information and personal data related to telematics is likely to become more acute as the technology to gather data becomes more prevalent in new cars.
The ACCC supports the Government’s intention to legislate a Consumer Data Right sector-by-sector noting that if it was introduced into the new car retailing industry, it would address some of the concerns raised about the impacts of telematics technology on new car purchasers.
A Consumer Data Right attached to the purchase of a new car will have implications for consumers, manufacturers and dealers in the ownership, storage, protection, access, and transfer of data. It is also important that the Government and the automotive industry understand cyber security issues including the risk of gaining access to personal information and vehicle security data.
- A modern vehicle is equipped with equipment and features that collect, store and use data to support safety, performance, navigation and traffic services, and infotainment.
- A Consumer Data Right, if extended to vehicle information, would give consumers access to their vehicle data but there are broader concerns around cyber security issues and the need for protocols if access is to be granted to third parties such as independent repairers.
Extension of a Consumer Data Right to the automotive retailing sector is under consideration by the Government. AADA is concerned about cyber security issues surrounding personal vehicle data and urges the Government to engage in consultation with franchised dealers if access is to be granted to independent repairers.