The current measures to protect e-consumers’ privacy in Australia include (i) regulation/legislation; (ii) guidelines; (iii) codes of practice; and (iv) activities of consumer associations and the private sector. However; information about the outcomes of such measures has not been sufficiently reported; whereas privacy incidents have increased. Some policy implications for e-consumer protection are drawn from the analysis. Firstly; national privacy legislation should widen its coverage. Secondly; uniform regulations and guidelines could contribute to providing equal protection to e-consumers. Thirdly; guidelines and codes of practice need to be supported by legislation and a proper compliance regime. Corporate social responsibility by e-retailers is also required for effective adoption of self-regulatory measures. Fourthly; consumer education is important to enhance consumer awareness of online privacy risks and their ability to deal with such incidents. Finally; a combination of legal frameworks; technological; and human-behaviour related measures is more likely to address online privacy issues effectively.
This section first discusses three sub-issues of concern in the protection of e-consumers’ privacy. It then introduces the concept of consumer rights, and discusses justification for e-consumer protection. It also analyses the current framework for e-consumer protection regarding privacy.