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Consistent with the 2016 OECD Recommendation on Consumer Protection in E-commerce, online disclosures should be clear, accurate, easily accessible and conspicuous so that consumers have information sufficient to make an informed decision regarding a transaction. But disclosures arise in a variety of forms and contexts and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to ensuring or measuring their effectiveness.

Cognitive limitations such as information overload, as well as technical ones such as small screen sizes on mobile devices, may limit their effectiveness. Additionally, businesses may sometimes focus on technical compliance with disclosure requirements rather than maximising their effectiveness in informing consumer decisions.

This report supports consumer authorities in enhancing disclosure effectiveness by providing:

  • a systematic overview of key disclosure characteristics
  • guidance on the effective design of disclosures based on a review of the empirical literature
  • an overview of overarching challenges to disclosure effectiveness, and
  • an overview of possible ways to address them, including possible policy alternatives when disclosures may not be sufficient on their own.
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OECD Digital Economy Paper 335