Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law, Second Edition
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Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law, Second Edition

Edited by Geraint Howells, Iain Ramsay and Thomas Wilhelmsson

Consumer law and policy continues to be of great concern to both national and international regulatory bodies, and the second edition of the Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law provides an updated international and comparative analysis of the central legal and policy issues, in both developed and developing economies.
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Chapter 12: Consumer protection and the Internet

Patrick Quirk and John A. Rothchild

Abstract

This chapter addresses the novel consumer protection issues that arise when individuals and businesses use the Internet to engage in commercial transactions. These issues have become increasing salient as the proportion of retail transactions that are consummated using online media of communication has steadily grown over the past twenty years. Topics covered include: the role of the regulator in the online context; the regulation of misleading online advertising, including special rules relating to endorsements; online contracting, including shrinkwrap, clickwrap, and browsewrap scenarios, statutes of frauds, use of electronic agents, and unfair contract terms; the resolution of online disputes through chargebacks, trader-implemented schemes, and international cooperation among regulators; the regulation of unsolicited commercial e-mail; and privacy, including the application of the fair information practice principles, children’s privacy, and issues arising from the use of social media.

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