The Department of Consumer Affairs launched a framework to safeguard and protect consumer interests in e-commerce from fake and deceptive reviews. The guidelines will be applicable to all online platform that publishes consumer reviews.
The framework for the standard was prepared by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The standard will initially be voluntary to follow for all e-commerce platforms. BIS will also create the framework for the assessment of compliance.
Taking into account the impact of fake and deceptive reviews and the protection of consumer interests in e-commerce, the Department of Consumer Affairs formed a committee on June 10th, 2022, to develop a framework for checking fake and deceptive reviews in e-commerce. Various stakeholders were represented on the committee, including e-commerce companies, industry associations, and consumer organisations.
The standard is expected to benefit all stakeholders in the e-commerce ecosystem i.e., consumers, e-commerce platforms, sellers etc. It will increase consumer confidence in purchasing goods online and help them make better purchasing decisions.
The standard also provides methods for verification of the review author through email address, identification by telephone call or SMS, confirming registration by clicking on a link, using a captcha system, etc., to check the traceability and genuineness of the review author.
Once the standard is made mandatory, if required, the violation of the standards by any entity may be considered an unfair trade practice or violation of consumer rights and a consumer may submit such grievances to the National Consumer Helpline, Consumer Commissions or the CCPA.