Consumer policy

Consumers in the digital economy


Consumers are drivers of the digital economy. Being provided with the fast-spreading and timely information on the Internet and mobile divices, consumers are more knowledgeable of product and service characteristics and able to make meaningful purchases. Moreover, their decisions drive competition towards lower product prices and higher quality. Although the consumer benefits are well defined, the digital economy raises questions of security, privacy and trust. Consumer issues in the digital economy therefore have the highest priority for the OECD Committee on Consumer Policy.


Key issues:


E-commerce   |  Mobile Commerce   |  Internet Fraud

Copy Control and Digital Rights Management  |  Cardholder Protection



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. 


Policy Guidance on Consumer Protection in Mobile and Online Payments (2014)

Protecting and Empowering Consumers in the Purchase of Digital Content Products (2013) 

Report on Consumer Protection in Online and Mobile Payments (2012)

Workshop on Consumer Protection and Empowerment in the Purchase of Digital Content (2011)

Conference on empowering E-Consumers: Strengthening Consumer Protection in the Internet Economy (2009)

Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy (2008)

Policy Guidance for Protecting and Empowering Consumers in Communication Services (2007)

Report on the implementation of the 2003 OECD Guidelines for Protecting Consumers from Fraudulent and Deceptive Commercial Practices across borders (2006)

Report on Consumer Dispute Resolution and Redress in the Global Marketplace  (2005)

Report on Consumers in the online Marketplace: the Guidelines Three Years Later  (2002)

Guidelines for Consumer Protection in the Context of Electronic Commerce (1999)

Policy Resources related to Internet Governance- An OECD website


Mobile Commerce

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 (2012)

Policy Guidance for Addressing Emerging Consumer Protection and Empowerment Issues in Mobile Commerce (2008)

Policy Guidance for Protecting and Empowering Consumers in Communication Services (2008)

Report on Enhancing Competition in Telecommunications: Protecting and Empowering Consumers Report on Mobile commerce (2007)


Internet Fraud

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 (2008)

Policy Guidance on Online Identity Theft (2008)

Report on Consumer Information Campaigns Concerning Scams (2006)

Report of the OECD Task force on spam: anti-spam toolkit of recommended policies and measures (2006)

Recommendation on Cross-Border Co-operation in the Enforcement of Laws against Spam (2006)

Guidelines for Protecting Consumers from Fraudulent and Deceptive Commercial Practices Across Borders (2003)


Copy Control and Digital Rights Management

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.


Report on Disclosure Issues related to the Use of Copy Control and Digital Rights Management Technologies (2006)


Cardholder Protection

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.


Workshop on consumer protection in online and mobile payments (2011)

Report on Consumer Protections for Payment Cardholders (2002)

Using Payment Cards Online: Frequently Asked Questions for Payment Cardholders (2002)




Countries list

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China (People’s Republic of)
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • European Union
  • Faeroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guernsey
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao (China)
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia (Federated States of)
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Administered Areas
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Serbia and Montenegro (pre-June 2006)
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Virgin Islands (UK)
  • Wallis and Futuna Islands
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe