Global trends to watch for in 2014 that could affect Australian online business

Photo credit; Tup Wanders on Flickr

Photo credit; Tup Wanders on Flickr

Global business trends affect all businesses. Here are eight trends that could affect your Australian online business in 2014, according to

Privacy laws

The onus is now on business owners to ensure they know what their service providers are doing with respect to keeping and sharing your customers and business data both on and offshore.

Cookies policies and active notifications

Notification requirements are being reviewed and regulation is making more business owners obtain active consents where certain customer information is collected and customer behavior is recorded. This means you need to know when you need your customer to actively agree to your terms rather than just post them on your website. It will also impact what your business collects, why you collect it and what you do with it.

Copyright reform

Make sure you know where your content and images come from. This is becoming an increasingly monitored (and complained about) issue with the increase in “sharing” in social media.

 New cyber security laws

The European Union (EU) and the United States (US) are trying to work on new policies to address cyber crime. The EU is working on reforms to get member countries to agree to have compulsory reporting of cyber attack crimes to national authorities. They want to have an arrangement that countries will give up nationals who commit such crimes against EU or US but this is meeting some resistance.

 Data collection

 There is and will be more regulation in relation to tracking systems, particularly those permitted by large tech companies. Opting out of tracking will be more and more difficult as larger corporates will look to improve their ability to collect personal data for advertising databases.

What does this mean for you? It will be harder to protect yourself and your customers’ information online. You are responsible for protecting your customer’s information so your security systems and those of your service provider will need to be robust particularly where international providers or customers are involved.

More Local Regulation for Online Businesses

Australian regulators are hitting out as business use of the internet grows. Everything from tax collection, legislation compliance, consumer protection and privacy are all on the radar among some of the other legislative changes that are continuing to be examined in 2014. You can be sure that tax revenue will be top of the agenda!

Online businesses to be targeted for taxes in other countries

With growth in sales at bricks-and-mortar shops shrinking, and purchasing on the internet growing daily, governments are looking to find ways to tap into the sales revenue. By 2017 global mobile commerce transactions will exceed US$3.2 trillion up from $1.5 trillion in 2013.

Be aware of the tax reform proposals where your online business has customers. You don’t want to be caught out.


This new innovation is virtually unregulated so far in Australia and is growing faster than any other funding source for businesses. It’s making entry costs for individuals who want or have started businesses more feasible — it’s becoming a global way of accessing funding.

Watch out for this new way that businesses are finding investors to help them grow.

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