OECD Digital Economy Papers

The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) undertakes a wide range of activities to better understand how information and communication technologies (ICTs) contribute to sustainable economic growth and social well-being. The OECD Digital Economy Papers series covers a broad range of ICT-related issues and makes selected studies available to a wider readership. They include policy reports, which are officially declassified by an OECD Committee, and occasional working papers, which are meant to share early knowledge.

English, French

Industry Self Regulation

Role and Use in Supporting Consumer Interests

In 2010, the OECD’s Committee on Consumer Policy published a Consumer Policy Toolkit, which provides a framework for developing and implementing effective consumer policies (OECD, 2010). The report notes that industry self-regulation (ISR) can play an important role in addressing consumer issues, particularly when business codes of conduct and standards are involved.[1] This report examines the roles that ISR can play in these and other areas more closely, examining conditions and situations where there are likely to be benefits, and the steps that need to be taken to help ensure that such initiatives succeed. The report draws on 23 case studies where consumer issues are addressed. The case studies are based on material provided by governments, businesses, civil society and other experts; for the most part the case studies have not been independently evaluated. They cover a range of sectors and activities, including advertising, financial services, telecommunications, video games and software applications (apps), toys, and direct selling. The case studies are illustrative of the ways that ISR has been used to address consumer issues; they do not cover areas where ISR has not been effective.


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