Online Security and Consumer Protection in Ecommerce An Australian Case

Online Security and Consumer Protection in Ecommerce An Australian Case

Huong Ha (University of Newcastle, Singapore Campus, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1619-6.ch010
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Abstract

Given the nature of the e-market, both regulatory and self-regulatory measures have been employed by Australia to protect e-consumers. However, the efficiency and effectiveness of the current framework of e-consumer protection have not been sufficiently evaluated. This chapter aims to (i) discuss the current approaches to protect e-consumers in terms of security in Australia, (ii) find out the level of awareness, the view and attitudes of e-consumers regarding online security and institutes involved in e-consumer protection, (iii) investigate how e-consumers protect themselves from online incidents, and (v) discuss policy implications for protection of e-consumers in terms of security. Overall, this chapter provides a better insight of how e-consumers are protected regarding security in Australia. It will help relevant stakeholders in developing and fine tuning policies to ensure a secure e-market for all. Finally, it will elicit further research on how to better protect e-consumers in the e-market.
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Introduction

E-commerce has become a popular platform for commercial transactions. However, not all consumers are confident in shopping online, and security is of the key barriers which has discouraged consumers from shopping on the online market place or e-market (Stoney & Stoney, 2003).

Although the number of online security incidents has steadily increased (Ha, 2005, 2006), research on e-consumer awareness of such incidents has been insufficient. Also, there has been little research on how consumers deal with online security risks, and how they are protected. Thus, this chapter aims to

  • 1.

    explain the current approaches to protect e-consumers in terms of security in Australia,

  • 2.

    investigate the awareness and opinion of e-consumers regarding online security and organisations involved in e-consumer protection, using Victoria, Australia as a case study,

  • 3.

    examine the attitudes of e-consumers towards consumer protection in e-market,

  • 4.

    study how e-consumers protect themselves from online security incidents; and

  • 5.

    discuss policy and marketing implications for protection of e-consumers in terms of security.

This chapter consists of three main sections: (i) a discussion of the background of the issue, and an examination of the current approaches to protect e-consumers regarding online security in Australia, (ii) an analysis of the current state of e-consumer protection, including an examination of the awareness and opinion of e-consumers regarding online security and the organisations involving in e-consumer protection, and a discussion of how e-consumers protect themselves when they shop online, and (iii) policy recommendations for a secure e-market.

The findings suggest that although different approaches have been employed to address issues associated with online security, the level of awareness of e-consumers of such approaches is not high. Not all e-consumers adopt technical and non-technical approaches to protect themselves in the e-market. Also, e-consumers have limited knowledge of how to counter online security incidents.

This chapter is significant because it can contribute to the literature relating to online security from the view of e-consumers. It also provides a better understanding of the current approaches adopted by e-consumers to deal with security concerns in the online environment, and how these approaches can be improved, based on e-consumers' point of view, in order to enhance their confidence in the e-market.

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Background

This section discusses three main issues of online security. It, then, examines the current regulatory and self-regulatory approaches to address security incidents in the online environment.

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