The process of digitalization has changed the lives of consumers around the world. Digitalization makes it easier for consumers to access and process information, potentially increases choice and competition, as well as encouraging innovation. At the same time, however, consumers also face barriers and risks. More than half of the world’s population still does not have access to the Internet, and many consumers fear that their personal information might be misused or that they might become victims of online fraud.
These barriers and fears constitute a significant impediment for the further development of the digital economy: When consumers mistrust businesses, they are discouraged from using new digital products and services. Against this background, the German G20 presidency today hosts a congress focusing on this topic, the G20 Consumer Summit "Building a digital world consumers can trust".
In this context the German Federation of Consumer Organizations (vzbv) has commissioned ConPolicy in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Lucia Reisch (Copenhagen Business School) to conduct a study on indicators for digital consumer protection and empowerment. The study is titled “Indicators of consumer protection and empowerment in the digital world“ and examines which indicators can be used to measure consumer friendliness of digital contexts.
The study identifies a total of 65 indicators grouped into the following eight dimensions:
- Economic interest
- Product safety and liability
- Privacy and data protection
- Information and transparency
- Education and awareness
- Dispute resolution and redress
- Governance and participation
These dimensions were derived from international reference documents, from expert interviews as well as from a consultation of the member organizations of Consumers International and tested in six G20 member states using representative surveys. The study is presented today at the G20 Consumer Summit in Berlin and is available here.