What attracted me to this role at CPRC?
Data practices, technology and digital markets are evolving rapidly. This presents consumer protection challenges that are also changing at pace. I was thrilled when the opportunity arose to join CPRC in tackling these challenges through its ongoing policy and research program. Robust evidence is critical to understanding the experiences consumers are having today, and how their experiences will evolve into the future. As part of the CPRC team, I look forward to producing and translating contemporary evidence that helps to improve outcomes for all consumers.
My professional experience
I come to CPRC with a background in energy markets – most recently retail market regulation in Great Britain with Ofgem, and before that, policy development within the Queensland Government’s Department of Energy and the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. We all know that consumption of online products and services are now necessary tools for modern life, and I see clear parallels between the consumer protection issues in an essential service market like energy and the experiences consumers can have in digital markets. Behavioural barriers to engagement, significant information asymmetries and consumers lacking bargaining power are a few of the areas where there are similarities.
I look forward to applying my experiences working on energy reforms to CPRC’s data, technology and digital markets work program – such as my experience reforming enforceable fairness principles, implementing specific protections for vulnerable consumers and ensuring market frameworks are flexible and responsive to technological change . But most of all, I’m looking forward to engaging with and learning from CPRC’s network of policy and research stakeholders (hopefully in person at some stage in the near future!)
Our upcoming work
While COVID-19 has rightly caused a degree of reprioritization within CPRC – make no mistake that data, technology and digital markets remains a strategic priority for us over the coming year. Some key pieces of work to look out for in this time include:
- An extensive report on emerging harms and risks relevant to data, technology and digital markets. This report will be supported by fresh data regarding consumer behaviour and attitudes about their lives online.
- An annual consumer data conference that will bring together a diverse range of stakeholders to build consensus on the problems that consumers face in digital markets, and provide constructive ideas on how these problems can be solved via upcoming reform opportunities.
- Research that explores how data is producing positive outcomes for consumers, and how it could be harnessed further for the purpose of improving consumer wellbeing and welfare.
Alongside this aforementioned work, CPRC will also be continuing to collaborate with our valued partners to produce original research that provides evidence and insights that help drive policy and practice change.