The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) last week released its latest occasional paper, The Connected Citizen – a disruptive concept informing ACMA perspectives.

The paper continues an ongoing dialogue by ACMA regarding the disruption to Australia’s existing regulatory frameworks being driven by increasing complexity in the digital environment. It considers the increasingly blurred line between the traditional concepts of the ‘citizen’ and the ‘consumer’ in communications and media regulation, and the ongoing utility of these terms.

The paper examines ACMA’s own engagement with citizens as technology has evolved and considers what the future may hold, identifying a range of emerging challenges and opportunities for change in communications and media regulation.  In releasing the paper, ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman is quoted as saying:

If citizens in the evolving communications and media environment are to take full advantage of a range of emerging opportunities, all players (citizens, consumers, suppliers, government and the regulator) will have to come together in an unprecedented fashion to address emerging pressures…

‘For media and communications to continue to work in Australia’s public interest, the implications of our increasing inability to distinguish neatly between the citizen and the “consumer” needs to be ventilated. That perceived neat historical distinction is itself being disrupted.’

ACMA has indicated that it will welcome feedback on any of the material presented in the paper.