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Cyberspace Consumer Protections

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Tesha Ponder Cyberspace Consumer Protections
Legal, Political & Ethical Dimensions of Business - MGT520
April 12, 2015
Professor James Keenan
The modern day convenience of the internet has simplified life. Almost anything can be done via the internet. Shopping, research, book reading, CD downloads, ordering takeout and groceries are just some of the conveniences the internet has afforded us. However, these conveniences are not without risk. These risks, according to The White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, “threaten national security, private enterprises and individual rights”. (The White House, 2015) The exponential rise and subsequent crimes of the internet have made it necessary to establish measures that protect consumers from risks such as fraud and identity theft. While these measures do offer protections to the consumer, as is the intent, they sometimes come at a cost to businesses. For example, if a customer’s credit/debit card information was stolen and unauthorized purchases were made, the customer has the ability to file a claim with the issuer of the card. The credit issuer or bank takes the loss for said purchase after an investigation determines fraud has occurred. According to the 2013 Nilson report, card issuers bore a 63% share of fraudulent losses and merchants assumed the remaining 37% liability in 2012. (as cited in Kiernan, 2015)
What are the legal implications of advances in internet technologies and the impact those protections have on protecting cyberspace consumers. Internet technological developments impacting consumer protection on the web. The paper will explore to what extent antitrust and consumer protection laws are adequate to deal with the challenges to a competitive marketplace and consumer privacy posed by the development of cyberspace technologies and markets, for example, Internet search engines, social networks and wearable devices. The paper concludes that legal tools for protecting a competitive cyberspace marketplace are fairly robust, while the legal tools to protect consumers from being tracked and profiled by marketers and from the potential intrusions of individual privacy made possible by even more advanced Internet connected sensor and related data-based technologies are still a work in progress. At the same time, the extent of further government regulation in this area must be carefully balanced so as not to unduly restrict data dependent innovation.

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