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Govt panel to develop framework on checking fake, deceptive reviews in e-commerce

The Department of Consumer Affairs has constituted a committee to develop a framework on checking fake and deceptive reviews in e-commerce.

Under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has been established, w.e.f July 24, 2020 to regulate matters, inter alia, relating to false or misleading advertisements which are prejudicial to the interests of public and consumers as a class, said the Minister of State, Consumer Affairs, Ashwini Choubey in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

The CCPA has issued 24 notices for unfair trade practices against e-commerce companies and issued two Safety Notices to alert and make consumers cautious against buying household goods like pressure cookers, helmets, etc. that do not conform to the Bureau of Indian Standards, said the reply.

The CCPA has notified the Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements on June 9, 2022. These guidelines provide for; (a) conditions for an advertisement to be non-misleading and valid; (b) certain stipulations in respect of bait advertisements and free claim advertisements; and, (c) prohibition of surrogate advertisements.

The Ministry is looking to develop a framework to keep a check on fake reviews posted on e-commerce websites to protect consumer interest.

Earlier, the consumer affairs ministry along with other stakeholders, including the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) held a meeting with stakeholders, including e-commerce entities, to discuss how paid, unverifiable reviews make it challenging for consumers to recognise genuine reviews. IANS Live

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