The Consumer Data Standards program is being supported by four open work streams, sharing feedback and progress with the broader Australian and international community:

  • API Standards: drafting and validating API standards being developed. You can sign up for updates from the API Standards work stream here.
  • Information Security: defining the information security profile supporting API standards, and authorisation and authentication flows. Sign up for updates from the information security work stream here.
  • Engineering: will focus on delivering usable software components (Reference Implementations) and system artefacts (sandbox). Sign up for updates from the engineering work stream here.
  • Consumer Experience: articulating best practice language and design patterns for organisations seeking consent from consumers to access their data, and providing guidance on the user experience of authentication and authorisation. Sign up for updates from the consumer experience work stream here.

Discussions about the API standards, Information Security and Engineering work streams also occurs on GitHub.

Ways of working

Each of the work streams is open to anyone with an interest and expertise in API standards, information security, engineering and consumer experience and design. While each working stream may operate slightly differently, they will all adopt certain common channels – email updates using MailChimp, and blog updates on this site. Given the relative geographical distance between cities in Australia and costs for various participants attending in person meetings, engagement with the Consumer Data Standards work streams has a bias towards online engagement. This is intended to reduce ongoing barriers to participation, particularly for smaller organisations. In person workshops and meetings will supplement regular online engagement as the need arises.

The working groups are the mechanism through which developing standards can be tested, examined and improved. They are not decision-making groups, although the Consumer Data Standards program will work hard to achieve consensus on topics discussed in the groups wherever possible. The Chair of the Data Standards Body has ultimate decision-making responsibility regarding the design of the API standards.

Principles to guide the working groups

Principle One: Open participation

There should be a bias to inclusion in the process of standards development. This does not mean that standards will be developed democratically but that all serious feedback will be considered during the process. The ability to provide feedback will not be restricted to a specific set of industry participants or organisations.

Principle Two: transparency

The proposals put forward, the feedback provided and the resulting decisions will be transparent to the wider community. This is to ensure that all participants and segments of a designated sector have an equal opportunity to participate whilst simultaneously ensuring there is no perception of bias toward any specific stakeholder group.

Principle three: Data61 is accountable for recommendations made

Data61 has been appointed to provide operational support for the data standards body and, as such, has the accountability and responsibility to make the final recommendations to the Chair on the technical standards in line with the legislation and rules to be put in place for the regime. The Chair has ultimate responsibility for decisions regarding the technical standards.

Principle four: time is short

To meet the stated timeframes for implementation, time is of the essence. As a result the process for setting the standards must be efficient and productive.

Principle five: iterative and agile

As this is a new endeavour and there are likely to be changes that occur in the standards in response to real world experience an iterative approach to standards development will be used. Changes to previous decisions to improve the standards will be accommodated in the process. This will be supported by regular publication of current drafts to encourage continuous feedback.