Productivity Commissioner Stephen King warns of privacy rights

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dr For example, King said proposals to limit the sharing of customer financial data would increase borrowing costs.

“If you suddenly tell the banks you can’t use this consumer data, you can’t use your depositor and borrower data, then we would all suffer higher interest rates.”

Christopher Yoo, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, supported Dr. King, noting that a study showed that greater scrutiny over the use of consumer financial data led to an increase in mortgage costs in San Francisco.

“There is now a growing literature looking at the impact of Europe’s privacy regulations and the new California privacy laws that really show they are having a negative impact.

“California is really the focus [data] transmitted, and that hurts the data broker market and many small players that used to receive data.”

Professor Yoo said privacy is “plastic,” suggesting it means different things to different people.

He pointed out that while privacy is about individual harm, competition laws are designed to protect against social harm and systematic harm to markets.

“So what we’re seeing is that we actually have two different regimes and two very different things targeting very different values.”

dr King argued that it’s important to carefully define what rights people have over data.

He said privacy advocates often failed to “recognize that data is a very, very unusual commodity” because data is “non-competitive.”

“Once you have something non-rival [a good whose consumption does not prevent simultaneous consumption by other consumers] From an economic point of view, we can all have the same information.

“It’s not like trying to eat an apple. This is a non-competitive product, so the starting point for economy is that we should have all of this data, which is from
of course, the opposite of what one would expect from a data protection approach.”

dr King said the next sector to open up to data sharing would likely be government. As an example, he cited the strong clinical need to share drug use data with hospitals at the time of a patient’s emergency admission.

Reshaping privacy rules for the digital age was recommended by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as part of its 2019 Digital Platforms Report.

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