digital platforms

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First Nations and other consumer advocates have welcomed the extension of ASIC’s interim Stop Order on Coral Coast Distributors (Cairns) Ptd Ltd trading as Urban Rampage (Urban Rampage) retail stores, where customers enter agreements to pay for goods on credit through Centrepay deductions. The original stop order was imposed because ASIC received complaints about Urban…

Read More Continued Ban of Business Centrepay Use in Remote Australia Welcomed as Advocates Call for Broader Centrepay Reform

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“Significant changes have occurred since the ACCC last examined search services in 2021. We’ve seen new laws introduced overseas that place obligations on so-called gatekeeper search engines and the emergence of new technologies, like generative AI, that have changed the way consumers search for information online and may be impacting the quality of the service they are receiving,”

Read More ACCC to Examine Internet Search Services for Five Year Inquiry

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In light of World Consumer Rights Day and the 2024 theme, CHOICE and the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) have both released articles on artificial intelligence (AI) and the importance, and absence, of consumer voices when discussing use and regulation. Based on CHOICE’s recent research, almost 4 in 5 Australian’s think that business’s should be…

Read More Australians Want Regulation But Consumer Voice Missing in AI Debates

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Original media release by and from CHOICE (13/03/2024). Big tech responsible for big losses: 249% increase in social media scam losses since 2020 CHOICE calls for strong rules to force digital platforms to rein in scams Consumer group CHOICE is demanding urgent government action to force digital platforms to prevent scam losses, after the National…

Read More Digital Platforms Need to Take Responsibility, CHOICE Urges Government Action

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Jobs and employment scams were the fastest growing scam type last year, with Australians reporting over 4,800 job scams to Scamwatch in 2023 leading to losses of $24.7 million, compared to $8.7 million in 2022.

Reports to Scamwatch show that these scams are disproportionally affecting younger Australians aged 18-44 years old, including students looking for part-time work. People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds including non-resident visa holders are also particularly at risk.

Read More Employment and Side Hustle Scams on the Rise

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Enforcement Technology, also known as EnfTech, is technology used in any enforcement capacity for investigation, preventative measures, surveillance, remedies and/or sanctions and there could be a vital role for EnfTech to play in consumer protection. With the advent of the global digital market as the new norm for most consumers the need for consumer protection…

Read More Enforcement Technology and Consumer Protection

GLOBAL STATEMENT Stopping Online Scams Consumers International Congress 2023

As part of the 2023 Global Congress, Consumers International and members have launched a Global Statement to Stop Online Scams. As a member of Consumers International and as a consumer advocacy organisation, the Consumers’ Federation of Australia strongly supports this call to stop online scams. As Australia’s representative to Consumers International, CHOICE is a signature…

Read More CFA Supports Global Anti-Scam Statement and Coalition

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9 out of 10 Australians also support strong penalties for digital platforms who fail to detect and prevent scams.

“Tech giants such as Facebook, Instagram and Google are failing to prevent scammers from using their platforms to target victims, causing enormous amounts of harm to consumers globally. In Australia, losses reported to Scamwatch from scams on social media have increased to over $66 million in 2023, an increase of more than 40% on the same time period in 2022,” says CHOICE Senior Campaigns and Policy Adviser, Alex Soderlund. 

Read More Global Consumer Alliance Urges Governments to Require Tech Companies to Protect People from Scams

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This report documents the nature of some of the more troubling consumer manipulation practices currently occurring in Australia. It explores how targeted advertising affects people who gamble, consume alcohol, are experiencing financial stress, and how it affects children and young people. Each case study describes potential consumer harm and rights violations and goes on to include evidence from the ‘Xandr File’ about the nature of data that is routinely traded for targeted advertising about each of these groups.

A brave, bold and strong response to this issue is necessary, and long overdue. 
A wide range of measures could be implemented to curb this practice

Foreword co-signed by Reset, CHOICE, and CPRC

Read More Report Released, “Australians for Sale: Targeted Advertising, Data Brokering and Consumer Manipulation”

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Following the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) September 2022 Digital Platform Services Inquiry report, and the Albanese Government’s commitment in November to mandatory industry codes regarding scams (consultation closes 29/01/2024) has now announced an in-principle agreement to desperately needed new consumer and competition laws regarding digital platforms. Currently, the government is requesting that industry…

Read More Government Responds to ACCC’s Digital Platform Recommendations

Consumers International Global Congress; Nairobi, Kenya 06-08 December 2023; Building a resilient future for consumers; supporting partners COMESA Competition Commission and Competition Authority of Kenya

Today the Congress was abuzz with passionate consumer advocates, experts and regulators taking a deep dive into everything from scams and AI to greenwashing and digital wallets. But at the heart of so many discussions today was the value of and the critical need to collaborate. It was recognised that collaboration both within and across borders is needed to help raise the voices on key issues impacting consumers and to learn from one another. Below are some of the highlights from Day 2!

Read More C is for Collaboration – Day 2 of Consumers International Global Congress