CCAAC has released an Issues Paper for its inquiry into ‘app’ purchases by Australian consumers on mobile and handheld devices.
The formal consultation period of this inquiry closed at 5.00pm on Thursday, 31 January 2013. Stakeholders who would like to provide input to this inquiry can continue to do so, however it will be considered at the discretion of CCAAC. Input can be provided via three methods including:
- uploading a submission;
- commenting on individual paragraphs of your choice in the Issues Paper; or
- responding to the survey.
You can choose to respond via a single method, by a combination of methods, or by all three methods.
Submissions to the inquiry
Submissions to the inquiry can be made by using the form below and uploaded via the ‘Submit’ button or sent to the CCAAC email or postal address. Please note that you will need to provide your name and email address when making submissions to the inquiry. All submissions will be made available to the public on the CCAAC website unless you indicate that you would like all or part of your submission to remain in confidence. If you would like your submission, or any part of it, to be treated as ‘confidential’, please indicate this clearly in your submission.
Downloadable version of the Issues Paper:
- App purchases by Australian consumers on mobile and handheld devices (PDF – 521kb)
- App purchases by Australian consumers on mobile and handheld devices (RTF – 402kb)
CCAAC has received 17 non-confidential submissions to this inquiry.
Australian Communications Consumer Action Network [PDF 1,429 KB]
Australian Information Industry Association [PDF 634 KB]
Australian Interactive Media Industry Association [PDF 174 KB]
Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association [PDF 823 KB]
Centre for Internet Safety [PDF 262 KB]
Choice [PDF 607 KB]
Commissioner for Children and Young People Western Australia [PDF 100 KB]
Consumer Action Law Centre [PDF 73 KB]
Craddock, Steve [PDF 12 KB]
Game Developers’ Association of Australia and Interactive Games & Entertainment Association [PDF 2,946 KB]
Google [PDF 1,197 KB]
Horton, David [PDF 688 KB]
Medical Technology Association of Australia [PDF 566 KB]
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner [PDF 659 KB]
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman [PDF 371 KB]
Trend Micro [PDF 414 KB]
WMC Global [PDF 478 KB]
Commenting on paragraphs of the Issues Paper
You can also respond to this inquiry by providing comments on individual paragraphs of the Issues Paper on the “App purchases by Australian consumers on mobile and handheld devices: Issues Paper” page. Follow the speech bubble icon to post comments or view your comments. You will need to provide your name and email address to comment, and you’re able to comment on as many paragraphs of the Issues Paper as you wish. Your comments will not be published on the CCAAC website, however they may be referenced in the final report.
Responding to the survey
You can also choose to provide your views via a short survey on the “App purchases by Australian consumers on mobile and handheld devices: Survey” page. The aggregated results from all respondents to the survey will be used in the final report of the inquiry.
If you have any questions on the inquiry please use the Contact Form to get in contact with us.
Written submissions can also be addressed to CCAAC@treasury.gov.au or
c/- The Manager
Consumer Policy Framework Unit
Competition and Consumer Division
Parkes ACT 2600
Background to the inquiry
On 5 November 2012, the Assistant Treasurer, the Hon David Bradbury MP, released the Terms of Reference.
Technology is evolving at a rapid pace opening new markets and creating new opportunities for consumers. Consequently, online markets associated with mobile and handheld devices are expanding. These markets allow consumers to purchase digital content (or applications, ‘apps’) such as music, movies, magazines, software programs and games. There are various options for downloading and using this content through the most popular ‘ecosystems’ and may also feature ongoing subscription-based and ad-hoc ‘in-app’ purchases beyond the initial free or paid download.
The Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC) will conduct an inquiry into the experiences of Australian consumers with downloading apps, including free and paid apps, and making in-app purchases, on mobile phone and handheld devices.
Terms of reference
Under its terms of reference, CCAAC will examine the following matters as part of its inquiry:
- the characteristics, features and trends of app markets in Australia;
- consumer experiences when downloading and using such content, including when used by children;
- adequacy of the information being disclosed to consumers about the costs associated when downloading and using this content before and after it is downloaded;
- adequacy of existing measures to address any consumer concern, 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 and ease of use of ‘opt out’ features, the adequacy of existing parental controls for app stores and how these controls are promoted to consumers, and any other industry initiatives; and
- actions that can be taken by consumers, industry and governments to help improve consumer experiences when making in-app purchases, including international approaches.