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Online Risk and Safety in the Digital Economy

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Citation Edit

Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), Online Risk and Safety in the Digital Economy (Third Annual Report to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) (Feb. 2010) (full-text).

Overview Edit

This third and final report built on the earlier reports in this series. It explores the implications of the way ICTs are used in the emerging digital economy for the management of online risk and promotion of safety. The report explores the roles of different players in the digital economy noting that governments, regulators, operators of online services and users themselves can all contribute towards the effective management of online risk.

This report builds on the previous reports through its focus on the way in which the use of ICTs is deeply embedded in everyday life and in the everyday behaviour of Australians today. This reveals itself in the way in which people across generations interact socially and engage in economic transactions: through online social networks, online entertainment, online shopping, and through the ubiquitous mobile phone which enables access to online content and services and records innumerable aspects and details of one's own life. This is the digital economy at work.

This report explores how aspects of the digital economy give rise to particular risk behaviours that apply across all age groups. Thus, the increasing use of social media and online transactions gives rise to risks associated with disclosure of personal information. The increased functionality on mobile phones, and the use of that functionality, gives rise to risks associated with having one's entire life recorded on and lived through a personal and transportable device. Nevertheless, the risks are typically encountered differently for people of different ages, and the report examines these different experiences of risk between children and adults.

The incidence of risks associated with people's engagement with the digital economy invites a whole-of-digital economy response. This report examines how different players in the digital economy — from governments and regulators, to operators of online services and online access providers, to users themselves — can contribute towards effective management of risks.

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