Centre launches framework for safeguarding and protecting consumer interest from fake and deceptive reviews in e-commerce

Source: The post is based on the following articles:

 “Centre launches framework for safeguarding and protecting consumer interest from fake and deceptive reviews in e-commercepublished in PIB on 21ST November 2022.

Centre sets standard for e-commerce reviews” published in The Hindu on 22nd November 2022.

What is the News?

The Department of Consumer Affairs has unveiled the new standard – Indian Standard (IS) 19000:2022 on “Online Consumer Reviews” and Ratings.

What is Indian Standard (IS) 19000:2022 on “Online Consumer Reviews” and Ratings?

Prepared by: Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS) 

Aim: To protect consumer interest from fake and deceptive reviews on e-commerce platforms. 

Applicability: The standards will be applicable to every online platform which publishes consumer reviews.

Key Provisions

Guiding principles: integrity, accuracy, privacy, security, transparency, accessibility and responsiveness. 

The standard will initially be voluntary for compliance by all e-commerce platforms. BIS will also develop a Conformity Assessment Scheme for the standard to assess compliance. 

Responsibilities: The standard prescribes specific responsibilities for the review author and the review administrator.

-For review author, these include confirming acceptance of terms and conditions, providing contact information.

For review administrators, these include safeguarding personal information and training of staff.

– The standard provides for methods for verification of the review author through email address, identification by telephone call or SMS, confirming registration by clicking on a link, using captcha system to check traceability and genuineness of the review author

– With respect to moderation, the standard provides for both automated and manual moderation and provides checks for analyzing the review content.

What is the significance of these standards issued for online consumer reviews?

Over the last few years, there has been a steady rise in e-commerce transactions across the country. 

Reviews posted online play a significant role in making purchase decisions and consumers exceedingly rely on reviews posted on e-commerce platforms to see the opinion and experiences of users who have already purchased the good or service.

Online reviews have a greater influence on consumers mainly in three sectors – tour and travel, restaurant and eateries and consumer durables.

However, there are complaints about the menace of fake online reviews. Countries are struggling with how to handle fake reviews.

In this context, these standards are important. Moreover, with the notification of the standard, India will be the first country in the world to have such a norm for Online Consumer Reviews.

Print Friendly and PDF