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ACCC calls for views on data brokers

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released an issues paper calling on consumers and businesses to share their views on data brokers and how they operate.

user icon David Hollingworth
Tue, 11 Jul 2023
ACCC calls for views on data brokers
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The paper is seeking feedback on a range of issues, including competition between data broker services, their practices, and the possibility for consumer issues to arise from how data brokers do business.

“There is little transparency and awareness of how data brokers operate in Australia despite the vast amounts of information they collect about Australian consumers and the central role they play in enabling the exchange of information between businesses,” said Gina Cass-Gottlieb, ACCC chair.

For the terms of the paper, companies that collect data on their own consumers for use internally are not in scope. Rather, the ACCC is focusing on third-party brokers that collect data from a range of external sources and then sell a range of data products to other parties. Companies such as Equifax, CoreLogic, and Nielsen are third-party data brokers and are specifically listed in the paper.


CoreLogic, for instance, produces a range of reports on housing affordability, sales and auction data, and valuations. CoreLogic’s customers include banks, estate agents, and public sector organisations.

The data that is collected by these brokers includes names and addresses, purchasing histories compiled from loyalty programs, social media activity, “and a range of other socioeconomic and demographic information”, according to the ACCC’s own announcement.

“Some Australian consumers may not be aware that their information is being collected, stored and sold by third-party data brokers with whom they have no direct relationship. 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,” Cass-Gottlieb said.

“We are eager to hear from data brokers and consumers and businesses that interact with the data broker industry. We are also seeking to understand how data products and services may be beneficial for small businesses.”

The deadline for responses to the issues paper is 7 August 2023, and the final report compiled from that feedback will be presented to the Treasurer before 31 March 2024.

Previous reports have investigated social media, messaging services, and online retailers.

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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