World Consumer Rights Day 2018

Welcome to the final eNewsletter in what has been an excellent year for Consumers International and our global membership.

In March, 134 members in 92 countries came together to deliver a resounding message for our #BetterDigitalWorld campaign, which coincided with the first ever G20 Consumer Summit in Berlin. We also made significant progress on our ongoing ambition to get UN Recognition for World Consumer Rights Day and we will build on the momentum in 2018. We have seen members collaborating on global campaigns, from flight delays to ticket resale, to deliver positive change for consumers that could not have been achieved by working alone.

Look out for my January message to members that will showcase our 2017 successes in more detail.

Everyone at Consumers International would like to thank you for your continued support. We look forward to achieving more impact with you in 2018!

All good wishes,

Amanda Long
Director General,
Consumers International

E-commerce: which way forward?

The 11th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Committee took place this month in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Although a working group on e-commerce was formed, no decisions were made to pursue further WTO work made at the Ministerial.

Here, Consumers International’s Director General makes the case for the work to continue in other international forums.

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How can we secure consumer trust in the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things can deliver enormous social and economic benefits for consumers around the world. However, there are some serious causes for concern, including privacy and security flaws, lack of transparency, complex liability and product lifecycle.

In this blog, jointly written with ANEC, BEUC and ICRT, we discuss our principles for securing consumer trust in the Internet of Things, and put forward some recommendations for working towards a network that is safer and fairer for everyone.

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Europe/ North America

  • After more than 120k people signed our UK member Which?’s petition calling for broadband providers to be more transparent with their advertising, regulators introduced measures to ensure broadband providers do not mislead consumers over their broadband speeds.
  • In Belgium, Test-Achats tested seven robotic toys for children and discovered that two of these robots send personal data to third parties, and one of these two robots can be easily hacked by a stranger.
  • Two of our French members, UFC-Que Choisir and CLCV, have launched an online petition against the industry led Evolved Nutrition Label which critics argue would make nutritional labelling less clear for consumers.
  • Our Spanish member OCU, in collaboration with Spanish Consumer Affairs agency AECOSAN, has launched a campaign to help consumers do more to recycle their electrical waste.

Latin America

  • In Chile, our member ODECU published a report on quality of service, security and rates of taxi services including Cabify, Easy Taxi and Uber.
  • Our government supporter in El Salvador, Defensoría del Consumidor, held a conference on e-commerce to discuss some of the new challenges that consumers face when interacting with digital marketplaces, and what can be done to strengthen online consumer protection.
  • Consumidores Argentinos participated in the launch of the Coalition against Childhood Obesity in Argentina, with UNICEF, FIC Argentina and 40 organisations from across the country. The coalition will aim to promote healthier diets for children in the country.

Asia Pacific

  • Following a campaign from CHOICE Australia that was supported by Consumers International and other national consumer organisations, Google will be introducing a new process to force ticket resellers to gain certification before they can advertise on Google.
  • To commemorate the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, Consumer VOICE organised marches across India to raise awareness about the importance of road safety and the need for measures to combat the high number of road fatalities in the country.

Africa

  • In Mauritius, our member ACIM won an important victory for consumers after two major banks were forced to reverse their decisions to increase the cost of personal and corporate check books by 150%.
  • ADEC Senegal was invited to France for a capacity building project that is aiming to find ways of creating more sustainable food systems in for consumers in the Dakar region on Senegal.
  • Our members ASCOVI (Democratic Republic of Congo) and ADC (Chad) attended a workshop in Cameroon which invited government officials and civil society organisations from across Central Africa to discuss consumer protection from their own national perspectives.

Middle East

  • The Consumer Protection Association in Saudi Arabia has launched an initiative that will aim to provide consumers with more information on the quality, pricing and safety of electronic goods. The Association will start with an in-depth look at mobile technology.
  • Our member in Oman, PACP, who recently partnered with the Omani General Directorate of Education, visited the Rustaq Literacy Centre to raise awareness about the importance of consumer rights.
  • The Yemeni Association for Consumer Protection is working with the Education Office in Sanaa Municipality on a training programme for social specialists in secondary schools to educate students about importance of healthy and nutritious diets.

  • A UK based campaign plans to take Google to court for allegedly taking the personal data of millions of iPhone users in the UK without their permission. Visit the Google You Owe Us campaign website to find out more.
  • New research by the Alliance for Affordable Internet has revealed that significant improvements must be made in low & middle-income countries to make broadband more affordable for consumers.
  • The United Nations (UN) has released a new report that highlights electronic waste as a growing global concern and outlines how the UN are approaching the need for more sustainable solutions to address e-waste.