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Consumer protection laws need updating to improve trust in e-commerce

March 30, 2016

Consumer protection laws need updating to improve trust in e-commerce

Countries should modernise their consumer protection laws to address new risks posed by online commerce, including “free” apps and peer-to-peer Internet transactions, according to new OECD guidelines for member countries and emerging economies.

The OECD Recommendation on Consumer Protection in E-Commerce says people buying online are entitled to the same level of protection as with conventional transactions. It calls on governments to work with business and consumer groups to determine legal changes that could improve consumer trust in e-commerce.

In particular, it suggests consumer protection laws should cover online apps and services offered for free in exchange for gaining access to the user’s personal data.

While consumers are increasingly drawn to the convenience and choice of online commerce, concerns about privacy, payment security or legal recourse in case of a problem mean that many others remain wary. Other concerns include online product safety risks and doubts over whether consumer reviews are genuine.

Read more at OECD.

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