E-commerce is providing consumers with expanding opportunities to purchase a wide range of products at competitive prices. In order to ensure that consumers are adequately protected when engaging in e-commerce, the OECD developed a Recommendation of the Council concerning Guidelines for Consumer Protection in the Context of Electronic Commerce in 1999 that provides a comprehensive set of guidelines to guide governments and businesses in addressing key issues.
In 2008, a Ministerial on the Future of the Internet Economy was held in Seoul, Korea, to take stock of developments in the Internet and identify areas where additional analytic and policy work would be beneficial. In support of the Ministerial, additional consumer policy guidance was developed on online identity theft, mobile commerce, and communication services.
The Ministerial provided a mandate for the OECD to, inter alia, review and update the 1999 Recommendation, which it launched in 2009. In the context of this review, analytic work was carried out in a number of areas, resulting in the development of policy guidance on mobile and online payments and intangible digital content products, in 2014.
A Ministerial will be held in June 2016, in Mexico, to further consider issues pertaining to the digital economy. At that time the revised 1999 Recommendation will be launched, and key consumer issues concerning trust will be addressed.
The Internet is providing consumers with exciting opportunities to purchase an expanding range of products from a larger number of suppliers, at lower prices. As underscored at the OECD Ministerial on the Future of the Internet Economy, enhancing the benefits of E-commerce to consumers will require maintaining a secure environment for transactions, in which consumers have trust.
Technological advances and market pressures have made telecommunications and ICT products and systems increasingly complex and feature rich. Mobile providers are offering ever more sophisticated products and services. Though, consumers take the full advantage of this developments, they face problems of switching, fees, analysis of offers, etc. The OECD investigates how consumer policies could be ammended and encourages its Member countries to take appropriate actions.
Consumer Protection in Online and Mobile Payments
Addressing Emerging Consumer Protection and Empowerment Issues in Mobile Commerce
Protecting and Empowering Consumers in Communication Services
Enhancing Competition in Telecommunications: Protecting and Empowering Consumers Report on Mobile commerce
The growth of Internet and e-commerce has taken Internet fraud to new levels. Consumers are at the risk of identity theft, using online tools for phishing their private information, such as credit card numbers, security numbers or bank account information. The potential for fraud is a major hurdle in the evolution and growth of online commerce. Given the growth of online fraud, many OECD member countries have taken steps to ensure that consumers and Internet users are adequately protected.
Scoping Paper on Online Identity Theft
Policy Guidance on Online Identity Theft
Consumer Information Campaigns Concerning Scams
OECD Task force on spam: anti-spam toolkit of recommended policies and measures
Recommendation on Cross-Border Co-operation in the Enforcement of Laws against Spam
Protecting Consumers from Fraudulent and Deceptive Commercial Practices Across Borders
Illegal copying and unauthorised distribution of digital works intensified in everyday consumer products such as audio CDs, DVDs, and e-books. Copyright holders wish to prevent any non-specified unauthorised uses. Both international and national law copyright instruments provide legal protections for technical measures to protect copyrighted material and provide remedies against their circumvention.The OECD analysed them and issued a report.
Many active Internet users remain unwilling to purchase goods or services over the Internet. Being aware of the security and privacy problems, they hesitate in launching their financial details into the cyberspace.Therefore, the OECD Committee on Consumer Policy (CCP) has been working for a number of years to analyse and strengthen consumer protection in online payments.