Feeds

Australian app inquiry launches

Aussies asked to think of the children ... and how much they spend by mistake

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Australia’s Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC) has kicked off its inquiry into apps, releasing the survey and an Issues Paper it will use to gather opinions and frame policy.

The inquiry was announced last month, when Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury said that the government wanted to investigate the ways in which apps were sold and marketed to consumers and assess the transparency involved.

"I understand that there are concerns about how some applications such as games are marketed, and that the marketing of these games could mislead consumers, including children, into making further purchases without knowing they will incur real costs,” Bradbury said at the time.

An Issues Paper has been released, and comments on the document are welcome until 31 January 2013.

The crux of the inquiry is whether punters can unknowingly empty their wallets by using an app. Paragraph 14 of the discussion paper states the problem as follows:

"Some stakeholders have raised concerns that the way apps and in-app features are marketed or supplied may be confusing or misleading and could entice consumers (including children) to access in-app features without knowing they will incur costs."

Other issues raised in the paper include the adequacy of the information being disclosed before and after app downloads; consumer experiences when downloading and using content; the level of disclosure on costs - before and after content is downloaded; and adequacy of existing measures to address any consumer concerns.

Legal recourse issues will also be looked at including the legal protections available to consumers, the adequacy of default settings to ensure consumers are making an active decision before incurring additional charges, the availability of ‘opt out’ features and the level of parental controls for app stores.

At the time of writing, around 18 hours after the Issues Paper went live with the rather natty interactive version you can find here, not a single comment had been published.

The CCAAC has also published a survey that Vulture South has completed and can report covers the same issues mentioned above.

Consultation on the Issues Paper is open until January 31st. No timeframe for a final report has been offered. &reg

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.