Former IBM Australia MD tapped for chair of government's new Data Standards Body

Andrew Stevens has been named as the new 'independent chair' of the Consumer Data Right's Data Standards Body.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The federal government has announced the interim chair of the Consumer Data Right's Data Standards Body as former managing director of IBM Australia Andrew Stevens.

The Data Standards Body, which falls under the responsibility of the CSIRO's Data61, has been created to help develop technical standards for the country's new data-sharing standards, known as the Consumer Data Right.

The country's new Consumer Data Right will allow individuals to "own" their data by granting them open access to their banking, energy, phone, and internet transactions, as well as the right to control who can have it and who can use it.

The Consumer Data Right will be established sector-by-sector, beginning with banking, before moving to energy and telecommunications.

Australia's major banks will be forced to make banking data available to consumers from the start of the 2020 financial year, under the new Open Banking regime.

The government earlier this month said the regime will boast strong privacy protections and information security for customers' banking data.

"A key element of these protections is that only trusted and accredited recipients will be permitted to access data, only with customers' express consent and only for the purposes the customer has expressly permitted," Treasurer Scott Morrison said in a statement at the time.

It is expected Open Banking will be phased in with the aim that all major banks will make data available on credit and debit card, deposit, and transaction accounts by July 1, 2019, and mortgages by February 1, 2020.

According to a statement from Morrison on Wednesday, Stevens' role as the Data Standards Body chair will "ensure the standards maximise the benefits for consumers", while also ensuring the standards are developed in consultation with technology firms, and consumer and privacy groups.

Stevens retired from the MD position at the local arm of IBM in 2014, after 12 years at the company. He is currently the chairman of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, and is a current director of MYOB, Stockland, Thorn Group, and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA).

He is also a former director on the National Board of the Australian Information Industry Association and is a member of the UNSW Business School Business Advisory Council.


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