Report

Drowning in codes of conduct

20 Mar 2012
Description

Australians face a complex, confusing and often inconsistent environment when it comes to regulating how businesses and consumers should conduct themselves online.
This report examines 16 codes of conduct that are relevant to Australian consumers when they engage in online activity (13 active codes and 3 draft codes). It is the first report to analyse the numerous codes of conduct that have been developed in Australia to address online conduct.
These codes, individually and together, offer online users the prospect of assistance dealing with unsatisfactory conduct by businesses and others, but whether they meet expectations has been unclear.
The report compares each code against best practice guidance on the development and implementation of codes of conduct issued by Australian regulators. The report also examines the coverage of codes, through an analysis of the code coverage amongst the top 50 websites visited by Australian consumers, and the top 19 ISPs by Australian market share.
The report has identified 13 codes that are currently in force, and three significant draft codes.
The report has been completed by staff at the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre at the University of NSW, with funding assistance provided by the auDA Foundation, assistance from our research interns, and editorial assistance and feedback provided by several ndustry, government and community stakeholders.
Image: Walter Boy / flickr

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