Metrics Monthly | February 2020 | AU Edition

Will Australia’s Open Banking act make controversial screen scraping a thing of the past?

Our January issue of Metrics Monthly looked at how Open Banking regula- tions are evolving across the world, and one of the big talking points from this surrounds Australia’s version of Open Banking: the Consumer Data Right (CDR). The act will initially focus on transac- tion data, but is likely to broaden into other industries such as energy and telecommunications. Australia was due to trial the act with the ‘big four’ banks in February 2020, but the deadline was revised to July 2020 last month. With the potential for Open Banking to

become widespread in Australia, the controversial practice of screen scrap- ing has been brought back into the spot- light. Chief Executive of the Common- wealth Bank of Australia, Matt Comyn, recently spoke out against screen scraping, and said that the activation of Open Banking should make the practice redundant. Comyn hopes that after the CDR goes live, ‘screen scraping technol- ogies would no longer be necessary’. The practice, which involves account holders providing their details to a third party service that then accesses their information to provide customer data to another service has been under scruti-

ny because it requires providers to store users’ credentials such as passwords or memorable data. Whilst service providers only use this practice to extract data, there is a risk that these credentials could be leaked, which would compromise consumers’ bank accounts and other accounts that they use the same log in details for. As a result, consumer and financial law advocates are calling for screen scrap- ing to be banned. With the imminent implication of the CDR in Australia, this could very much happen due to Open Banking being able to provide the same data in a much more secure way.

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