The Department of Consumer Affairs on 21st November 2022, launched the framework for safeguarding and protecting consumer interest from fake and deceptive reviews in e-commerce. Department of Consumer Affairs, along with senior officers of the department and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) launched the framework titled Indian Standard (IS) 19000:2022 ‘Online Consumer Reviews — Principles and Requirements for their Collection, Moderation and Publication. The standards will be applicable to every online platform which publishes consumer reviews.
The standard will initially be voluntary for compliance by all e-commerce platform. BIS will also develop a Conformity Assessment Scheme for the standard to assess compliance. The guiding principles of the standard are integrity, accuracy, privacy, security, transparency, accessibility and responsiveness. The standard prescribes specific responsibilities for the review author and the review administrator. For review author, these include confirming acceptance of terms and conditions, providing contact information and for review administrator, these include safeguarding personal information and training of staff.
The standard provides for responsibilities of organization including developing a code of practice, and necessary stipulations for terms and conditions like accessibility, criteria, and ensuring content does not contain financial information etc.
The standard is expected to benefit all stakeholders in the e-commerce ecosystem i.e., consumers, e-commerce platforms, sellers etc. It will help usher in confidence among consumers to purchase goods online and help them take better purchase decisions.