The internet today traverses almost all dimensions of our life - from ordering groceries to making secure financial transactions. Yet, this pervasive accessibility takes on a new meaning with the widespread availability of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This heightened technological capability in the wrong hands amplifies the potential for increased cyber threats. On this Safer Internet Day (February 6), Prime Minister Modi's recent call at the G20 Summit, urging businesses to prioritize consumer care over profit-seeking, holds greater resonance. His call underscores the increased need for businesses to deploy available technologies and resources not just for mere compliance but for the highest safety of customers.
Online shopping significantly shapes our internet experience. Recognized as India's most trusted shopping destination (as per a study by Nielsen Media commissioned by Amazon India), Amazon is dedicated to establishing a secure and reliable shopping environment. Employing a blend of proactive engagement, advanced technology and meticulous human reviews, we aim to create an unparalleled experience for our customers.
We continually try to mitigate risks and identify bad actors by using machine learning. Constantly refining features for genuine feedback, we use artificial intelligence (AI) to swiftly spot and remove fake reviews. Through programs like Brand Registry, we empower brands to safeguard their intellectual property, reinforcing our commitment to maintaining a secure marketplace.
At Amazon, we are mindful of our role in the vast internet landscape and understand that consumer care requires actions extending beyond our marketplace. It involves educating consumers regardless of their shopping destination and collaborating with relevant stakeholders. Over the past couple of years, we have looked for impactful initiatives to increase consumer awareness across India. A few examples include:
- Mission GraHAQ amplified education on consumer rights and duties in the rapidly expanding Indian ecommerce markets in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Leveraging innovative methods such as street plays and radio, we educated close to 1.67 crores of consumers on aspects of product safety, online payment safeguards, duties of online shoppers, and effective grievance resolution mechanisms. The program has been implemented in 100+ cities in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat and North Eastern part of India.
- #FightTheFraud campaign aimed to counter the growing menace of online scams. Partnering up with the CyberPeace Foundation and Rashtriya Raksha University, the initiative included webinars and a social media campaign dedicated to combating online impersonation scams. With over 7000 posts and 1.51 crore+ impressions, we reached 1.02 crore+ people. Additionally, the webinar series educated 4,300+ college students nationwide on critical topics such as online safety, ecommerce frauds, digital payments, and the prevention of online scams.
Along with proactive consumer awareness efforts, Amazon also actively collaborates with government bodies and law enforcement agencies to further its commitment towards consumer safety. In 2023, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) launched a series of criminal raids targeting illegal call centres posing as Amazon customer support across various Indian states. Our reporting of bad actors played an important role in supporting the CBI's crackdowns. Additionally, since 2016, we have served as a convergence partner with the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), where consumers nationwide register their grievances. Amazon consistently endeavours to resolve complaints within 48 hours to 5 days even though the allowed period for grievance closure is up to 30 days, maintaining an impressive 98% resolution rate on the NCH portal.
Consumer safety is a shared responsibility and requires an industry-wide approach. To enable this, we partnered with FICCI CASCADE, India's largest anti-counterfeiting network. Our collaboration resulted in working closely with law enforcement agencies for safeguarding both our marketplace and the broader internet. We conducted capacity building trainings for 480+ officers across Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu, highlighting Amazon's commitment to reducing marketplace fraud and abuse. Our Blueprints on Trustworthy Reviews and Counterfeits are an earnest call for industry-wide collaboration to safeguard consumers against malicious activities. These initiatives articulate our strategic approach to addressing challenges in preventing fake reviews and counterfeits.
This Safer Internet Day, presents a timely opportunity for the industry to unite and prioritize consumer safety. In the coming years, as the reach of the internet expands, transparency and consumer care are not merely options but a strategic necessity for sustained growth and prosperity for society as a whole.