Smart products like wearable technology - and the rise of social media - have caught the attention of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
ACCC chair Rod Sims addressed these issues at the National Consumer Congress and formally announced the organisation's 2019 Product Safety Priorities.
Sims said smart devices could pose a threat to consumers under certain circumstances.
"[An] issue we are grappling with is the rise of interconnected devices, smart products, and the ‘Internet of Things’.
"Indeed, the theme for this year’s World Consumer Rights Day is Trusted Smart Devices
"Most of you will already have such a device in your pocket, your bag, on your wrist, and in your home.
"Along with concerns about privacy and consumer data, these products also pose risks in a product safety sense.
"Interconnected devices confront all sorts of new risks.
"They could be threatened because of a software update, lapse in internet connection, malware, or third party hacking.
"These scenarios can all lead to a product that doesn’t function as it should: which in turn poses a safety threat.
"Protecting consumers and ensuring fit-for-purpose laws is vital work for the ACCC. This work has now extended to issues of privacy, data and online consumer safety.
"'These online products and services create a new generation of consumer risks."
Sims said the ACCC's Digital Platforms Inquiry also unearthed concerns around social media.
"Companies likes Facebook and Google are multi-sided platforms that are stunningly commercially successful.
"The more consumer attention they attract on one side of the platform, the more valuable they become to the other side; the advertisers.
"A significant part of that value, of course, is the depth and breadth of consumer insights that digital platforms can generate from the data they access or control.
"Consumers have reason to be concerned.
"The consequences of providing their personal information online has the potential to extend beyond targeted advertising and carefully curated content to include increased dangers from invasions of privacy, misinformation and online fraud, as well as the potential for discriminatory conduct.
Sims said consumer protection will be at the forefront as the ACCC finalises its Digital Platforms Inquiry.