Today, the German Advisory Council for Consumer Affairs (SVRV) delivered its expert’s report "Consumer Law 2.0 - Consumer in the Digital World" to the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection in Berlin. Regarding a secure and transparent use of services in the digital world, the SVRV provides concrete measures to protect consumers. These range from legal innovations and changes to legal redefinitions and new research approaches. These are some of SVRV’s central claims:
- Law on regulating algorithms: Legal provisions are needed to ensure that algorithms take into account the requirements of consumer law, anti-discrimination law and digital security. In case of direct consumer contact, the algorithms’ underlying parameters are to be made transparent.
- “Code of Conduct”: Companies should be required to develop a code of conduct on the use of personal data, artificial intelligence systems and big data analysis.
- Transparent contractual relations: Among other things, digital service providers (social networks, platforms) are to briefly and concisely inform consumers about the relevant data protection requirements and terms and conditions prior to the conclusion of contract and given contractual changes. In addition, platform operators must provide precise information on the function of the digital service and the nature of the legal relationships before creating a customer account.
Hans Micklitz, SVRV-member, noted: "Each solution is designed to create legal clarity and certainty for consumers in the digital world. (…) It is necessary to bundle the dispersed competencies with regard to digital services in an authority."