The Communications Law Centre (CLC) at the University of Technology, Sydney and mobile advertising company Leadbolt have teamed up to develop a mobile commerce standard.
The research partnership will look into the current framework of the m-commerce industry worldwide to establish best practice legislation, codes of conduct, industry standards and market regulation.
CLC director, Professor Michael Fraser, told Computerworld Australia that the CLC-Leadbolt partnership will largely focus on consumer rights and protection strategies, such as denying advertisers from accessing personal and sensitive consumer information for targeted ads.
“We’re trying to address privacy issues and try to work out what is the right way to protect privacy for mobile phone users,” he said.
“[We’re trying to protect consumer personal information] from being taken from their mobile devices and used for other purposes… so that advertisers can target their advertisements, so we’re concerned that private information should not be used without consent of the mobile phone user.”
With the use of smartphones set to increase by the day, both parties decided urgent work was needed on updating specific legislation and closing regulatory gaps to support m-commerce and its long-term future.
“There are many regulatory gaps in how to manage privacy in the Cloud across jurisdictions; it’s not working effectively and so we’re looking at not only questions of law reform, but we have concerns that law reform is not keeping pace with the developments in technology,” Fraser said.
“We have to address the gap by a means of developing the industry standards and codes with the cooperation of industry peak bodies to protect the consumer and protect industry so that everybody knows what the ground rules are and can use their new technologies with confidence.
“The issues of privacy protection are just one area in which it’s very difficult for law reform to keep up with the very fast pace of change and so it is good to see industry taking the initiative and working with academics and technology specialists and lawyers to try to fill that gap and try to deal with these problems and regulate them themselves while the legislation is catching up.”
The research will be conducted by UTS academics who are affiliated with the CLC and industry participants, with those involved currently still defining the scope of the research but will start work on the codes and standards soon.
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