Policy actions sorted A-Z.
Policy actions sorted A-Z.
Government policy should focus on technology as a priority. Legislation should be enacted that benefits all industries.
Technologies prioritised don’t contribute to a strong foundation for the benefits to emerge.
Poor contract negotiation locks Governments into particular providers.
Digital signatures are recognised with legal equivalence to “wet signatures” so that people can transact digitally.
Estonia: eSignatures for registering a company online, e-banks, online voting system and electronic tax filing.
United States: 2001 ESIGN Act states a contract or signature “may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form”.
European Union: Article 5 of the Electronic Signatures Directive mandates that European states must regard electronic signatures with the same authority as wet signatures.
Elsewhere: Many other G20 countries implement legislation that gives legal recognition to digital signatures for most purposes. Some countries enforce restrictions: Argentina prohibits use for certain legal documents and public deeds; Canada prohibits use for wills and marriage controls; China, in practice, prohibits use in corporate documents that require public notarisation.
Create legislation that is compatible across national borders, to ensure consumer rights are consistent where consumers purchase goods and services in a country other than the place they live.
Worldwide: ISO 12812 creates standards for mobile-based payments to allow cross-border operation.
European Union: The EU is pushing for a Digital Single Market, applying the concept of free movement of goods and people to digital services and online business. The European Commission is proposing closer co-operation in the enforcement of consumer rights.
Establish the legal concept of “digital personhood” so that rights afforded to people in the physical world are made applicable on digital platforms.
The right to privacy is a legal tradition found in many national and international laws. Establishing the concept of digital personhood would compel digital services to follow this convention for maintaining privacy in people’s online activities.
Duty of care is a common legal doctrine that requires reasonable care to be taken in activities that can cause harm. Application of this in digital services through digital personhood would ensure service providers took necessary measures by default to enforce this duty.
“Digital personhood” is not recognised universally, but we increasingly see hints of this as an approach: the OECD/G20 report “Key issues in Digitalisation” (PDF) raises the idea of a “digital impact assessment”, a concept that could be developed further to take into account the individual and collective impacts of digital.
Although treating consumers fairly should be an integral part of the good governance and corporate culture of all service providers, the digital aspects of this may not be taken seriously at a corporate level.
Create a means for a consumer to easily resolve a consumer dispute without having to resort to court action. This ensures the consumer is treated fairly in online transactions and avoids the resource intensive process of going to court.
European Union: An online dispute resolution service has been created that allows citizens of European member states to create complaints against organisations.
India: Online Consumer Mediation Centre provides digital infrastructure for resolving consumer disputes through physical and online mediation.
Mexico: Profeco, a consumer organisation, provides an online dispute resolution service called Concilianet.
Elsewhere: Online commerce services like eBay and PayPal provide dispute resolution services to resolve issues around non-payment, non-receipt of product and false advertising.
Administration and arbitration overheads could produce a backlog of complaints.
Services could be built to meet the needs of the digital platform rather than the needs of consumers.