A safer way to share your data

Article published 25 January 2023

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WITH everything going online, from banking to grocery shopping, life is becoming increasingly digital. It can be hard to keep track of where your data has ended up. What it can be used for, and most importantly who can use it.

This is where consumer data rights come in.

Consumer data rights give you the option of allowing data holders like the bank or your energy provider to share your data with other companies.

Something like this could be used in a whole range of ways.

For example, say you’re not sure your energy provider is giving you the best rates. With permission to access your data, an accredited comparison website could give you personalised recommendations to find the best deal.

At the moment, consumer data rights just let you give individual companies permission to share and read your data. But new legislation has been introduced to Parliament that will create an ‘action initiation’ power.

Despite the name, this isn’t something out of a superhero movie. It means that accredited third parties will also be able to act on your behalf, using the data they’ve been given.

So, if you were to compare energy plans and find one you’d like to change to, with just the click of a button you could close your old account and open a new one.

All this talk about sharing data might sound a little scary. As we know, data isn’t always secure in the hands of companies.

But there are protections in place.

For starters this is entirely optional. Data holders can’t give your info to anyone without your explicit consent.

You can also choose to remove consent at any point and request a company to delete all of your data that they hold.

Third parties that you might want to share your data with also need to be accredited. This means they need to meet a whole range of requirements.

They must take steps to make sure your data is secure. They need to have an appropriate dispute resolution process. And they’ll need insurance to compensate consumers in the event a breach does occur.

At any time you can look up whether a company asking for your information is an accredited organisation.

The rollout of consumer data rights has the power to completely change how you interact with these industries and give you control over your data.

It is one hundred per cent optional and you don’t have to share your data with anyone you don’t want to.

But it might be worth looking into to make your life a whole lot easier.

Consumer data rights are currently available in the banking and energy sector but are being rolled out to other sectors like telecommunications.

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