CHOICE calls for a strengthening of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) to address consumer harms arising from digital platform services in Australia. In particular, CHOICE strongly supports the introduction of a prohibition on unfair trading practices to strengthen the ACL. This prohibition would address certain practices that are arguably oppressive, exploitative or contrary to consumer expectations of fairness in the market.
In addition, CHOICE supports the introduction of obligations or principles-based duties on digital platform services to provide a baseline level of protection for consumers and set reasonable standards of what a consumer can expect when interacting with these platforms. Such obligations should also be expanded to other actors in the digital economy. CHOICE supports the introduction of a best interest duty to businesses that collect, use or disclose data. This would allow for a cultural change in which businesses consider first and foremost the user of the product or service and assess potential risks from that perspective.
CHOICE also supports regulatory alignment with other jurisdictions where it promotes increased consumer protection and confidence, and where consumers in Australia can access the same level of protection that consumers in other jurisdictions enjoy.