ConPolicy Newsletter 2020 - 12

Dear Reader,


In today's issue ConPolicy informs you about: 

We wish you an exciting read!

Kind regards!

Your ConPolicy team

  News about ConPolicy

Study for the German Federal Environment Agency
New ConPolicy project on youth participation and sustainable consumption

In recent years, sustainability policy issues have become increasingly relevant in social and political discourse. The commitment of young people is a major driver of this development. However, the behavior of many young people is simultaneously characterized by ambivalence: They understand that everyone must make a contribution to greater sustainability. However, this conviction is not always sufficiently reflected in their own consumer behavior.

Against this background, the Federal Environment Agency commissioned ConPolicy together with IKU_Die Dialoggestalter and Tippingpoints to conduct this research project. The project aims to create a scientific basis for further activities in the field of participation-oriented and transformative research, participation, information offers or campaigns for young people in the area of sustainable consumption.

Further information on the project can be found here.  

Impulses for consumer protection and empowerment in the digital world
ConPolicy at the 15th International Workshop of the Colombian Telecommunications Commission

For the 15th time, the Colombian Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) invited to an international regulatory workshop on December 01 and 02, 2020. This year's topic was "Rethinking connectivity: the role of networks in our digital lives". Due to the corona pandemic, the workshop was held purely virtually.

The consumer perspective was also not neglected at this workshop. ConPolicy Managing Director, Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun, explained in his presentation why digitalization can only succeed if the consumer perspective is also taken into account, and he outlined what is important in terms of consumer protection and consumer empowerment.

Anchoring values with CDR
ConPolicy moderates forum at the Digital Summit 2020

On November 30, 2020, the first day of the Federal Government's Digital Summit 2020 took place, which focused on the topic of "improving sustainability through digitization".

One forum was organized by the "Consumer Policy in the Digital World"-platform group and dealt with the topic of corporate digital responsibility. ConPolicy managing director Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun moderated the panel discussion with members of the CDR-initiative of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. Participants were Christine Lambrecht (Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection), Birgit Klesper (Senior Vice President Group Corporate Responsibility, Deutsche Telekom AG), Kate Heiny (Director of Sustainability, Zalando) and Prof. Dr. Dr. Alexander Brink (University Professor for Business and Business Ethics, University of Bayreuth).

The discussion showed that digitization must be shaped actively to actually serve the common good. In this context, companies have a special responsibility. They need to take into account the positive as well as the negative effects of digitization early on in their development of new digital business models, products and services. The company examples from Deutsche Telekom and Zalando showed how this is already implemented today. The legislator needs to take on a double role in this context: creating legal requirements where necessary and at the same time promoting responsible corporate management that goes beyond what is legally required. It was emphasized that this is exactly what the BMJV's CDR initiative is about.

Further information on the CDR initiative of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection can be found here (German).

The Christmas donation for climate
ConPolicy supports the climate bet

The climate bet is a project initiated in 2020 with the aim of saving an additional 1 million tons of CO2 by the next climate conference in Glasgow in 2021 together with many citizens.

With a donation of 25 euros to a climate protection organization, one ton of CO2 can be saved. A first important step, considering that each and every one of us in Germany causes on average more than 11 tons of CO2 per year! 

If each participant in the bet convinces two people, who in turn convince two, a movement can be created that reaches one million people in 20 weeks. 

On the side of the climate bet you will find simple tips on how CO2 can be avoided privately. 

ConPolicy also supports the climate bet, because we are convinced: together we can achieve more!

You can find more information about the climate bet (in German) here.

Digital consumer protection: Focus on data sovereignty
ConPolicy presentation at MULNV consumer congress

On November 23, 2020, the consumer congress of the Ministry for Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia took place, which dealt with various topics of data sovereignty in everyday consumer life.

During the congress, ConPolicy project manager Dr. Sara Elisa Kettner held a presentation with the title "A look into practice – Study on innovative privacy consent management". It was followed by a panel discussion with Marc Fliehe (VdTÜV), Klaus Müller (Federation of German Consumer Organisations) and Rebekka Weiß (Bitkom), in which the possibilities of data protection through technology design were discussed.

The presentation is available until the end of 2020 as a video (German).

The results of the study on "Innovative Privacy Consent Management", which was commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, can be downloaded here (German).

A critical examination of the ethical limitations of nudging
ConPolicy in the #Nudge2020 debate: On the ethics of Nudging in the health sector

On November 17, 2020, ConPolicy project manager Dr. Annette Cerulli-Harms participated in a panel discussion on the use of nudging in the health sector. Together with Dr. Benjamin Ewert (University of Siegen) and Dr. Rebecca C. Ruehle (VU Amsterdam), Annette Cerulli-Harms discussed possible ethical and legal aspects of nudging, especially in the health sector, at the digital conference #Nudge2020. 

The event, organized by läuft GmbH, focused on the potential limits of nudging: In the discussion, it was critically examined by whom and in which decision situations nudging may be used to design the decision architecture. In addition, the participants discussed the role of nudging as a political instrument for governance, also including participation possibilities and potential alternatives. 

Nudging is regarded as one of the central methods for initiating behavioral change in behavioral economics. There was a consensus within the discussion that the success of nudging can only be judged by means of continuous, data-driven evaluation.

Find more information and examples of nudging in general here.

  Consumer policy news

Consumer protection
A warning for smart toys as a Christmas present

When buying Christmas gifts in the pre-holiday season, the German Federal Network Agency urges consumers to be cautious with smart toys and connected... Read more

Consumer protection
European Parliament calls for more sustainable and durable consumer goods

Today, the European Parliament's Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) has signed off on its initial recommendations to make... Read more

Greenwashing of packaging: Sustainability claims are difficult to verify for consumers

Today, the German consumer association in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) published the results of its study about sustainability claims, so-called... Read more

Consumer policy
European Commission presents New Consumer Agenda

The European Commission presented its New Consumer Agenda today, which seeks to empower European consumers in the green and digital transition. This... Read more

Almost half of Germans feel insufficiently informed when looking for a doctor

Today at the virtual conference of the IGES Institute together with the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV), the study... Read more

Germany's mobile phone prices cheaper than commonly assumed

Today, the digital association Bitkom published the study "Germany's mobile phone tariffs in international comparison". The results show that prices... Read more

  Recommended reading

Micklitz, H. W. et al.
E-commerce between consumer protection and sustainability

A holistic view of all regulations along the life phases of a product including its raw materials shows that the phases that are not currently the... Read more

Rüdenauer, I. & S. Prakash
Economic and ecological effects of extending the life cycle of electrical and electronic devices – Using the example of smartphones, notebooks, washing machines, televisions and e-bikes (pedelecs)

For some years now, there has been increasing evidence that the life cycle of electrical and electronic products has decreased. In addition to... Read more

Wolff, F. et al.
Recommendations for action for the further development of the National Program for Sustainable Consumption – Part 2: Instruments for sustainable consumptions

To achieve the goals of the German Sustainability Strategy, far-reaching transformations of existing consumption and production patterns are... Read more

Muster, V. et al.
Recommendations for action for the further development of the National Program for Sustainable Consumption – Part 1: Design and institutionalization of the program

To achieve the goals of the German Sustainability Strategy, far-reaching transformations of existing consumption and production patterns are... Read more

Muster, V. et al.
Evaluation of the National Program for Sustainable Consumption: Ex-ante analysis and short assessment of selected measures

The National Program on Sustainable Consumption (hereafter: NPNK) was adopted by the German Federal Government in February 2016 and shows how... Read more

Kubica, K. & F. Schumacher
"Protect me from what I want" Designing cyber security – Protecting consumers

Cyber ​​security is a prerequisite for successful digitization. The primary goal should be to guarantee the triad of IT security – confidentiality,... Read more

Summers, M.
Facebook isn't free: Zero-price companies overcharge consumers with data

The emergence of dominant companies that don't charge money to their primary consumers poses serious challenges to current antitrust law around the... Read more

Ní Choisdealbha, Á. & P. D. Lunn
Green and simple: Disclosures on eco-labels interact with situational constraints in consumer choice

"Eco-labels" are intended to provide consumers with important environmental product information. However, it can be difficult for consumers to... Read more

Teufel, J. et al.
Environmental costs of consumer goods as a starting point for improving market and non-market consumer information

The National Programme for Sustainable Consumption was adopted in February 2016. In order to enable informed consumption decisions and to create... Read more

Hagemann, H.
Guidelines on environmental product information in e-commerce

When consumers want to find out about products, they often do research on the internet. Product information can be found online in a variety of... Read more