Meta’s response to the government’s proposed scam reforms

By AdNews | 29 February 2024
Marcus Reubenstein via Unsplash.

Meta has issued a response to the government's consultation paper on a regulatory framework to address scams.

The government has committed to introduce new mandatory industry codes to outline the responsibilities of the private sector in relation to scam activity, with a focus on banks, digital communications platforms and telecommunications providers.

Mia Garlick, regional director of policy for Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand & Pacific Islands at Meta, says the company believes cross-industry collaboration is key to tackling this challenge.

She says the majority of scams in Australia are via text message (33%), phone (29%) or email (22%), compared with 6% via the internet and 6% via social network and online forums.

"Tackling this solution can’t be done by one company or one sector in isolation," says Meta.

"Given the significant existing and ongoing investment by companies, including Meta, the financial industry and other key stakeholders in combating scams, we believe that it is important that any new obligations set out by the government are targeted and evidence-based to achieve the goal of ensuring industry invests appropriately in combating scams."

Meta says that is believes that it is critical for the government to follow an evidence-based approach to industry-wide frameworks as it will allow platforms, including Meta, to determine how early-stage measures are performing.

"That way, we can ensure that we’re collectively taking the most effective approaches to countering scams," the company says.

"Evidence and data from these measures can be fed into an industry-led code overseen by a regulator with the necessary industry expertise, such as the Australian Communications and Media Authority."

Meta says among the measures it's exploring and will start to test and evaluate the impacts of include new escalation channels for Australian trusted partners like the financial sector; new advertiser verification including heightened verification for higher risk areas; and the rollout of new education resources including an anti-scam resource hub and new consumer campaigns with local partners.

"In the meantime, Meta will continue to support the industry’s and government’s efforts to disrupt and reduce scams in Australia, including through our policies and automated systems that prohibit and disrupt this type of abusive behaviour, as well as on-platform enforcement, tools and features," Meta says in its statement.

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