21 May 2024

New tech bill will allow consumers to share data

4:47 pm on 21 May 2024
National Party MP Andrew Bayly

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly says the new legislation would initially apply to the banking sector. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

A bill designed to give consumers more control over their data will be introduced into Parliament tomorrow, the minister of commerce and consumer affairs says.

Andrew Bayly says the Consumer and Product Data Bill will allow consumers to share their data, which will in turn allow banks, insurance, power and telecommunication companies to compete with each other.

Consumers would be able to compare products in real time, manage accounts across different providers simultaneously, and switch between providers seamlessly.

He said it would include penalties of up to $5 million for misuse by companies, and up to $1m for an individual who fraudulently used it.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said it was expected to be introduced at the end of last year when the draft was released in June.

The legislation will be applied gradually across the economy on a sector-by-sector basis, with banking the first sector to be designated.

Scams have been increasing in number and complexity with consumers here losing an estimated $200m a year.

There have been calls for implementing account name-checking - such as a 'confirmation of payee' service - which Bayly confirmed will be implemented by the end of the year.

"That is one of the key things I want to make sure is achieved," he said.

"What the banks have said to me is that they will have it in place by the end of this year - there are technological issues for them, and IT upgrades they have to go through, because New Zealand works with a different system."

Consumer NZ has said it would immediately prevent some scams, and had been in the United Kingdom for five years now.

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