Amazon Current Affairs - 2019

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What is ‘Project Zero’ introduced by Amazon in India?

To block selling of counterfeit goods on its platform, e-commerce giant Amazon has introduced ‘Project Zero’ in India, in a bid to ensure that customers receive authentic goods when shopping on Amazon.

What is ‘Project Zero’?

It introduces additional proactive mechanisms and powerful tools to identify, block and remove counterfeits. More7,000 brands have already enrolled in Project Zero across United States, Europe and Japan. A number of Indian brands participated in a pilot to help Amazon test the experience in India.

How does Project Zero work? It combines advanced technology and innovation of Amazon along with sophisticated knowledge that brands listed of platform have of their own intellectual property as well as how best to detect counterfeits of their products. It does so through 3 powerful tools:

(1) Automated protections

(2) Self-Service Counterfeit Removal Tool– It works in a seamless manner and has brought relief to brand owners.

(3) Product serialization– It is enabled by a unique code that brands apply within their manufacturing and packaging process. It allows Amazon to individually scan and confirm authenticity of every single purchase of a brand’s enrolled products through Amazon’s marketplace.

Significance: Project Zero will ensure that customers always receive authentic goods when shopping on Amazon. It could also lead to many more brands in India (from small and emerging entrepreneurs to large multi-national brands) partner with Amazon to drive counterfeits to zero and deliver a great shopping experience for customers.

Govt releases Draft e-Commerce Guidelines for Consumer Protection 2019

Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (Department of Consumer Affairs) has published draft e-Commerce Guidelines for consumer protection 2019. These guidelines will be applicable on all business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce platforms.

Draft e-Commerce Guidelines for Consumer Protection 2019

  • It aims to make e-commerce platforms and their sellers more transparent and accountable to consumers. It also seeks to curb sale of counterfeit products online and unfair trade practices by e-commerce companies
  • It proposes series of consumer safeguards that forbid e-commerce companies from influencing pricing, adopting unfair promotion methods or misrepresenting the quality of goods and services.
  • It also mandates e-commerce companies to protect personally-identifiable information of customers. In this case, data collection and storage and use should comply with provisions of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008.
  • It mandates e-commerce firms to self-declare compliance and also provide way for customers to contact them directly.
  • It proposes to make mandatory for e-commerce entities to accept returns in event products delivered are defective, wrong or spurious or if they do not have characteristics or features advertised.
  • It also mandates every e-commerce entity has to publish contact details of its grievance officer, who would have to address complaints within one month from the date of receipt.
  • It makes mandatory for e-commerce platforms to declare all details about their sellers including address, website and email address.
  • It also mandates them to display terms of contract with the seller relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty, delivery and mode of payments.