ConPolicy Newsletter 2018 - 7

Dear Reader,


In today's issue ConPolicy informs you about: 

We wish you an exciting read!

Kind regards!

Your ConPolicy team

  News about ConPolicy

Behavioral Insights
ConPolicy contributes to the discourse on the subject of nudging

In 2017, Richard Thaler, one of the two co-authors of the bestseller "Nudge", received the Nobel Prize in Economics. The debate about possible applications but also the limits of nudging has not only been in full swing since then. ConPolicy participates in this debate through research projects, behavioral insights consulting and expert lectures – most recently in the context of three events:

  • On June 14th, ConPolicy project manager Dr. Max Vetter informed about the possibilities of initiating sustainable behavior with the help of behavioral insights at the annual congress of the Energy Agency Rhineland-Palatinate. 
  • The discussion "Nudging or manipulation?" at the symposium of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) on June 20th focused on the pros and cons of this approach. Dr. Max Vetter discussed these and the potential of nudges for social transformations and development cooperation with a member of the team “wirksam regieren" from the German Federal Chancellery and GIZ employees. 
  • Lately, ConPolicy managing director Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun was on the podium at the "Tagesspiegel Trend Breakfast" on July 4th to address the question "How free is our will?”. Other discussants were Clemens Schneider (Prometheus – Das Freiheitsinstitut) and Dr. Markus Weinmann (University of Liechtenstein).

Behavioral insights in policy making, companies and civil society - we stay on top of things.

Workshop of the EU Commission in Berlin
ConPolicy discusses the state of the collaborative economy in Germany

Collaborative consumption opportunities open up many new services and offerings for consumers. At the same time, however, they are also under criticism: concentration of power, circumvention of protection standards or a lack of data protection are some of the points of criticism.

Against the background of this debate, the EU Commission has invited to a discussion on the state of the collaborative economy in Germany. Representatives of politics, science and business met here to discuss the current state of affairs and options for action. ConPolicy Managing Director, Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun, introduced the consumer perspective to the discussion.

Digital Sovereignty
ConPolicy presents at Abida workshop

Almost daily new digital helpers are developed which simplify consumers’ lives. Nevertheless, the progressing digitalization also creates challenges. New technologies increasingly collect personal and even sensitive data to be saved and used by providers. Informational self-determination is a relevant topic to consumers, but in reality there exist obstacles that prevent consumers from exercising it.

At the Abida-expert workshop “Digital Sovereignty” on June 28 2018 in Kassel, Germany, solution approaches to guarantee informational self-determination for new technologies were discussed and recommendations for research, politics and industry were derived.

Project manager Dr. Sara Elisa Kettner gave a presentation on “One-Pagers and Privacy Bots: New approaches for informed consent”. The content of the presentation based on the results of the ConPolicy-report “Big data and smart living” for the BMBF-funded Abida-project, the ConPolicy study “Better informed?” funded by the BMJV and the BMBF-funded PrivacyGuard-Project at Quadriga University of Applied Sciences Berlin.

Home. Smart Home – Beautiful living or danger zone?
ConPolicy moderates consumer policy dialogue of the NRW Ministry of Consumer Protection

Smart home applications are becoming increasingly popular. Although the market as a whole is still in its infancy, the market penetration of some products is increasing rapidly. Increased comfort, increased living safety or energy savings are reasons for consumers to buy smart home products. But consumers are also sceptical: many find the increasing automatization of their home uncanny, fearing to become victims of hacker attacks and worried about their privacy. Many consumers also find the offers too expensive, do not see the benefits or criticise a lack of interoperability.

Against this background, the NRW Ministry of Consumer Protection has invited various stakeholders from science, industry, consumer protection and public authorities to a dialogue on consumer policy. ConPolicy Managing Director, Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun, moderated the event. Participants included Ursula Heinen Esser (Minister of Consumer Protection in NRW), Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Maaß (Saarland University), Wolfgang Schuldzinski and Helga Zander-Hayat (Verbraucherzentrale NRW), Dr. Claus-Dieter Ulmer (Deutsche Telekom), Günther Ohland (SmartHome Initiative Germany) and Roul Tiaden (Permanent Representative of the State Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information in NRW).

  Consumer policy news

Data protection
German Network Agency takes action against SMS phishing

The German Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) announced today to switch off 26 mobile phone numbers due to SMS phishing. This constitutes a... Read more

Single Market
EU budget seeks to empower European consumers

Today, the Commission presented its EU budget agenda for the time period between 2021 and 2027 proposing a €4 billion Single Market program to enhance... Read more

  Recommended reading

Deceived by design – How tech companies use dark patterns to discourage us from exercising our rights to privacy

In this report, the Consumer Council of Norway (Forbrukerrådet) analyzes a sample of settings in Facebook, Google and Windows 10, and show how default... Read more

The financial lives of consumers across the UK – Key findings from the FCA’s Financial Lives Survey 2017

The FCA’s mission is to serve the public interest through the objectives given by Parliament, one of which is to ensure an appropriate degree of... Read more

Consumer policy and the smart home

The “smart home” looks set to be the arena in which many people will utilize consumer-facing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for the first time.... Read more

Consumer product safety in the Internet of Things

In addition to offering greater product choice and convenience to consumers, the IoT is expected to revolutionize the way product design,... Read more

Bala, C. & W. Schuldzinski
Beyond the average consumer – Consumer policy in times of the "unmanageable consumer"

In the 8th Volume of the series "Contributions to consumer research", the authors deal with the challenges facing consumer policy and consumer... Read more

Nessel, S. et al. (Hrsg.)
Multi-perspective consumer research – Approaches and perspectives

This book presents dimensions, approaches and objects of a multi-perspective consumer research. In addition to theoretical and interdisciplinary... Read more

Triollet, R. et al.
JRC Annual Report 2017

Report on the activities, accomplishments and resources related to the JRC’s work carried out in 2017. An overview is given of the scientific... Read more