‘What to watch for when buying online’: Online retailers take the heat
Consumers in Australia have begun to feel the heat from online shopping sites, after a series of breaches and cyberattacks.
Key points:Online shopping marketplaces have been accused of allowing a number of breachesThe Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is looking into the issues around the marketplaces and the breachesThe ABC has obtained data showing there have been a number the most recent breaches on the market.
The ACCC is looking at whether online shopping platforms like Walmart and Amazon are breaking the law.
The agency’s director, Jessica Evans, says the breaches have affected consumers and businesses alike.
“The breaches that have happened are of concern, we are certainly not happy that people are being impacted, but we are also very concerned about what is happening with the other platforms,” she said.
Ms Evans said consumers have a right to know about breaches and she wants them to feel confident in the online shopping marketplace.
“There is no place for that to be just assumed, there is a right for consumers to know and there is also a right that businesses can have confidence in that marketplace,” she explained.
“I think that is the right way to look at it, to ensure that the consumer is confident that their money is safe.”
Walmart has confirmed that it had suffered a number breaches in the past few months, and said it is working with the ACCC to identify and fix them.
Ms Davies said the company had been working with regulators, and the Australian Competition Commission, to investigate.
“We are confident that we have a strong relationship with the Australian Consumer Commission and we are fully co-operating with the agency,” she added.
Ms Cooper said there was “no doubt” the market was vulnerable.
“What’s interesting about the market is there is no central data that is collected from the site to enable the consumer to identify whether the site is safe or not, so that is what makes the market vulnerable,” she told the ABC.
“It’s also the fact that consumers are accessing products from the marketplace and there are some products that are really hard to track down and find.”
Online shopping platform ‘not a safe space’ for Australian consumers’Ms Evans has also said that online shopping websites were not safe places for Australian shoppers.
“Online retailers are not a safe place for Australian users to shop,” she wrote in a blog post.
“Awareness and vigilance is key to ensuring consumers are able to shop safely online.”
Ms Evans also told the Australian Financial Report that online retailers should “keep a low profile”.
“It is not good enough to be out there offering discounts and great deals and to be able to hide behind your online marketing platform to not know what your competitors are up to,” she noted.
Topics:consumer-finance,consumer-protection,online-commerce,consumer,business-economics-and-fiscal-policy,consumerism,australiaFirst posted May 19, 2018 16:56:57Contact Melissa DeaconMore stories from Victoria