Caron Beaton-Wells, Professor in Competition Law at the University of Melbourne, interviewed Peter Harris, the then Chairman of the Productivity Commission and one of Australia’s leading public policy thinkers.
Mr Harris is the architect behind an innovative policy reform, a proposed comprehensive consumer right to data, which he discusses in this episode of the podcast series, Competition Lore. Professor Beaton-Wells’ podcast series tackles what it means to participate as a competitor, consumer or citizen in a digital economy and society.
Big Data and Big Analytics have policymakers in a frenzy. In some parts of the world this is leading to regulation that provides greater protection for privacy. But what does privacy have to do with competition? There are heated debates about whether stricter privacy regulation will shut down competition and innovation or whether it will drive competitive forces in a data-driven economy.
Much of the debate has been focused on Europe’s latest Big Tech missile, the General Data Protection Regulation. But in the US also, some policymakers are considering following suit. This episode of Competition Lore features Peter Harris, Chairman of the Australian Productivity Commission, one of Australia’s leading public policy thinkers and the architect behind an innovative policy reform, a proposed comprehensive consumer right to data.
It’s a reform slated to power up competition by empowering consumers while at the same time bolstering privacy. More broadly it is a reform aimed at creating a social licence for data collection and use, for the benefit of us all.
For more information about the Consumer Data Right, read the Productivity Commission’s 2017 data report here and the Australian Government’s response, and other related material, here. You might also be interested in this: Platform power and privacy protection: The case for policy innovation, 2018.
Caron Beaton-Wells is a Professor specialising in competition law at the Melbourne Law School and Director of the University’s Competition Law & Economics Network and Global Competition and Consumer Law Program. Her research and teaching in this field extends beyond the law to institutional, political and sociological dimensions of competition policy, and her recent research projects have focussed on competition and privacy in the context of digital platforms, competition and fairness in concentrated industries, challenges in cartel law and enforcement and the interface between competition and consumer law. She is the host of the podcast show, Competition Lore, exploring the challenges of competition in a digital economy.
Caron has been Associate Dean of the Law School’s undergraduate and masters programs and a member of the School’s executive management team. She is currently Program Director for the School’s first online masters program, in global competition and consumer law. Professor Beaton-Wells has taught a range of competition law-related subjects in Juris Doctor and masters programs. She is a regular speaker at competition law conferences and is often asked to comment in the media on competition law issues. She is also the Director of the University of Melbourne Competition Law & Economics Network and convenes the Network’s regular events, including the flagship Annual Baxt Public Lecture in Competition Law.
Her engagement activity involves contributing to the public discourse in Australia and around the world on significant competition law-related issues and on bringing together and fostering constructive debate and shared learning amongst stakeholders. Caron is a member of several national and international editorial and advisory boards, has consulted to the OECD, ASEAN, SSNED and the New Zealand Government, is a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network and the Law School’s representative on UNCTAD’s Research Partnership Platform. Formerly a solicitor at (now) King & Wood Mallesons, Caron is also a member of the Law Council of Australia’s competition and consumer and small business committees.