The Australian Government has announced an inquiry into smartphone apps. The minister behind the move claims this is needed due to the rapid increase in e-commerce on mobile devices. “In a very short period of time, new mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have changed the way consumers engage in commerce,” said David Bradley. “Some customers have raised concerns about aspects of mobile commerce, particularly where purchases can be made without much difficulty using stored credit card data.” Are you listening, Apple and Amazon?
The terms of reference were released earlier this morning. As well as getting the government up to speed on the state of the apps market in Australia, they include the effect on children of downloading apps, legal protection for consumers and the adequacy of cost information, and warning signals regarding purchases.