Bid for tighter web security
Source: The Age Online
By Lorna Edwards
Date: September 19, 2003
Consumer agencies are investigating setting up an Australian "web seal" to authenticate business websites and establishing national regulations for e-commerce to combat growing internet fraud.
Moves to protect consumers doing business online will be examined by a working party led by Consumer Affairs Victoria, which released a discussion paper on web seals yesterday.
Web seals, also known as trust marks, are symbols on websites that indicate an endorsement from an authenticating body.
Consumer Affairs Victoria director David Cousins said many consumers were wary of doing business on the internet in the wake of publicised scams. "Consumers should be as confident about their online transactions as they are when they visit the corner store," he said.
Britain has many prominent web seals, including TRUSTe, BBBonline and TrustUK. Web seals often have a link to the authenticating body's home page.
But Dr Matt Warren, an associate professor at Deakin University's school of IT, said any web seal could be fraudulently copied on "masquerade" websites.
"Just because it has a tag it doesn't guarantee the site hasn't been hacked, or that it's not a scam site, and you have no legal protection if you are defrauded," he said.
Original article at: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/09/18/1063625153023.html
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