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Australia: ACCC seeks views on data broker industry

On July 10, 2023, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released an Issues Paper seeking views on data broker services in Australia, which will inform the eighth report to the Treasurer in the ACCC's inquiry into digital platform services. In particular, the ACCC outlined that it would evaluate the business practices of data brokers and the products and services they provide, including the potential competition and consumer issues in the industry.

The ACCC Chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb noted that ''There is little transparency and awareness of how data brokers operate in Australia despite the vast amounts of information they collect about Australian consumers […] This report will explore how third-party data brokers collect and use information to create products and services and if there may be competition and consumer issues arising from this.''

The ACCC explained that the report would focus on third-party data brokers who collect information from third-party sources and sell or share that data with other organizations. However, according to the ACCC, businesses that collect, share, or sell data on their own customers, that is, first-party brokers, will not be covered by the report. More specifically, the ACCC outlined which products and services provided by several data brokers it would examine.

Comments can be submitted via email to [email protected] until August 7, 2023.

You can read the press release here and the Issues Paper here.