Data brokers pose significant and growing risks to the wellbeing of consumers.
The data broking industry has rapidly expanded in the past decade, which has been assisted by advancements in data science and artificial intelligence. People are increasingly spending more time online, and their personal data is being monetised by an opaque and murky industry. Weak and outdated protections for consumers have allowed data brokers to collect excessive data and expand their reach and power.
There is strong community concern about the use of data brokers. CHOICE research conducted in 2023 found that 76% of Australians were concerned about businesses selling their data to data brokers. People should not be forced to hand over their sensitive personal information to data brokers to simply access essential goods and services.
CHOICE is calling on policymakers to introduce stronger rules on data brokers to ensure people in Australia are protected. This submission also urges the ACCC to expand the scope of its inquiry by including first-party data brokers and credit reporting agencies to better understand the data broking industry.
The ACCC should:
- recommend the Federal Government implement the recommendations of the Privacy Act Review and increase funding to the OAIC;
- investigate the role of the Australian Consumer Law in protecting consumers from privacy violations committed by data brokers;
- recommend the Federal Government to implement a prohibition on unfair trading in the Australian Consumer Law;
- recommend the Federal Government establish a digital ombudsman; and
- broaden the scope of the Inquiry to consider first-party data brokers and credit reporting agencies.
Download the report (PDF)
- Op-ed: Why we need to enforce existing laws against 'data enrichment'
- Why companies can keep your data forever
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