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To help boost trust in e-commerce, the OECD has released two sets of policy guidelines aimed to strengthen consumer protection in mobile and online payments and in the acquisition of digital content (such as e-books or streamed music).
It is important that consumers, including children, understand their rights and obligations when acquiring and using digital products. They also need to be informed about how their personal data may be collected and used, with whom it may be shared and why, and the type of redress that may be obtained when problems arise.
Many devices using small batteries have battery compartments that are easy to open and most people do not know there are safety concerns. Consumers worldwide need to be aware of the serious injuries that small batteries shaped like coins and buttons can cause when swallowed by children.
This guidance addresses a number of key issues in the emerging mobile and online payment area, including the need to establish minimum levels of consumer protection across payment mechanisms, enhanced privacy and child protection, and standards for transparent and accessible information disclosures.
The Committee on Consumer Policy is conducting a series of multi-stakeholder workshops to see how policies in key markets could be strengthened, using the framework and approaches developed in the OECD Consumer Policy Toolkit. Communication services were the topic of the first workshop, held in October 2011. This paper provides a summary of the proceedings, which focused on marketing practices, contract terms, and billing issues.
While consumer demand for digital goods has increased rapidly in recent years, a range of challenges undermine confidence in the market and require policy attention.
This report shows that despite the financial crisis, business-to-consumer e-commerce has grown steadily across the OECD, spurred by the spread of mobile devices, easy-to-use payment mechanisms and participative web tools such as price comparisons or consumer ratings. Trust in e-commerce, however, remains challenged by many issues.
This April 2012 workshop provided a forum for critically evaluating the different risk assessment practices being used in various jurisdictions while gathering the views of stakeholders from governments, businesses, consumers and academia.
English, PDF, 157kb
An overview of the work of the OECD Committee on Consumer Policy.
The Working Party on Consumer Product Safety is aimed at strengthening information sharing on safety issues across borders.