Today, the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection hosted an international online conference on consumer protection in the digital age. The Conference was co-organized with the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection with support by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The conference addressed the question of how consumers can best benefit from the impacts of digitalization and how to best protect them against risks to their safety, privacy and self-determination.
ConPolicy-Executive Director, Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun, presented a speech about the question of how technologies could and should be used to empower consumers. His key conclusions were:
- Consumer-enabling technologies (CETs) should be one strategic element to empower consumers.
- However, they do not replace market regulation and “classical offline” empowerment strategies. CETs should be considered complementary.
- The potential of CETs is by far not yet leveraged.
- CETs can empower consumers directly or indirectly via market authorities and consumer organizations.
- Governments should have a strategy to support the development of CETs and invest in research and development in this field.