ConPolicy Newsletter 2020 - 8

Dear Reader,


In today's issue ConPolicy informs you about: 

We wish you an exciting read!

Kind regards!

Your ConPolicy team

  News about ConPolicy

Open registration: Sign up now!
Consumer Research Forum 2020: Algorithms and consumers

"Algorithms and Consumers: Focus Legal Tech" this is the current topic of the Consumer Research Forum 2020, which will take place completely virtually this year on September 18, 2020. 

It is organized by CCMP Friedrichshafen, Prof. Hans-W. Micklitz (European University Institute) and Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun of ConPolicy – Institute for Consumer Policy Berlin. Our host is the Ministry of Rural Areas and Consumer Protection Baden-Württemberg. 

A registration for this event is possible by mail to Please register by 15th of September 2020, so that we can prepare the program in a technically optimal way. You can find the program here.

Project for the European Parliament
New ConPolicy report on loot boxes in online games

At the request of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the European Parliament, ConPolicy carried out a study on lootboxes together with the project partner VVA. The aim of this study was to provide the Committee with an overview of lootboxes and other purchase systems in online games, to understand the impact of lootboxes on player behavior – with a special focus on young consumers - and to identify best practices and policy options. In this project ConPolicy conducted a literature analysis and expert interviews.

The final report has been published on the website of the European Parliament. More information about the project can be found here.

Behavioral public policy in practice
ConPolicy @ Summer School

ConPolicy Project Manager Dr. Annette Cerulli-Harms lectured about behavioral public policy in practice in the CEBEX SUMMER SCHOOL 2020 on Tuesday July 28. The summer school typically takes place in Prague but was moved online due to Covid-19. This allowed even more interested people from across the globe to participate. Practitioners, for example from government agencies and regulators, students, and PhD candidates from all areas of the world enthusiastically took part in the summer school.

Dr. Annette Cerulli-Harms discussed how politicians can and should base their decisions on the best available evidence including randomized controlled trials. During plenary sessions as well as through interactive case studies and group work the students learned how behavioral experiments and analyses are designed and conducted in practice. The session ended with an animated discussion of the ethical considerations policy makers should consider when designing behavioral interventions including so-called 'nudges'.

The summer school was hosted using an online communication platform which facilitated plenary sessions, group work, sharing of documents, interactive discussions on a virtual whiteboard.

This lecture was embedded into a rich four-day program on behavioral public policy. Other lecturers introduced students to the theoretical foundations of behavioral public policy including general concepts of behavioral sciences such as 'choice architecture' and 'rational' vs. 'irrational' behaviors of individuals and policy makers. Students were also introduced to experimental methods.

If you are interested in learning more about behavioral insights or in hosting an interactive online workshop, please get in touch.

Table talk hosted by the Dr. Rainer Wild Foundation
ConPolicy contributes to the exchange on food waste and consumer awareness

In Germany, thousands of tons of food end up in the garbage every year and private households contribute a large part to that. Against this background, the Dr. Rainer Wild Foundation investigated with the scientific model project "rescue refrigerator" how the appreciation for food among consumers can be increased and at the same time waste in food retailing can be reduced.

In the context of the 2nd digital table talk "Foodwaste – Consumer sensibility and opportunities at the point of sale" the project was presented in an impulse. Afterwards Marlene Münsch, as an expert of the panel discussion, discussed together with the participants consumers can be supported in their efforts to avoid food losses. The discussion also focused on the role that the retail sector can play and what information should be made available to consumers.

  Consumer policy news

Intelligent voice assistants popular among German consumers

Bitkom published the results of a representative survey on the everyday use of virtual assistants among German consumers today. The results show that... Read more

Consumer protection
Major airlines reported for breaching passenger rights during corona pandemic

In the context of the corona pandemic, the European Consumer Organization BEUC has now called national consumer protection authorities and the... Read more

Consumer behavior
German consumers cancel their holiday trips due to Corona

Today, Bitkom released the results of a representative survey on travel cancellations during the Corona pandemic. According to the results, around 40... Read more

  Recommended reading

Gåvertsson, I., L. Milios & C. Dalhammar
Quality labelling for re-used ICT equipment to support consumer choice in the circular economy

The ever-increasing consumption of natural resources required for the production of consumer electronics, and the growing amount of electronic waste,... Read more

Kuchler, F. et al.
Evidence from retail food markets that consumers are confused by natural and organic food labels

In the USA, food producers can label their products as organic only if they are certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as... Read more

Specht-Riemenschneider, L., N. Werry & S. Werry (Eds.)
Data law in digitization

Data access rights, privacy paradox, liability – Data are the key to future technologies such as the Internet of Things, decentralized networks or... Read more

Lunn, Peter D. et al.
Using behavioral science to help fight the Coronavirus

This rapid, narrative review summarizes useful evidence from behavioral science for fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. The authors undertook an... Read more

German Federal Government
Consumer policy report 2020 by the German Federal Government

This consumer policy report by the German Federal Government provides an overview of the achieved improvements in consumer policy as well as ongoing... Read more

Enabling sustainable consumption and production – Recommendations for consumer policy

In the last few months before the outbreak of the corona pandemic, the discussion about how to foster sustainable development in the Germany had... Read more

The effectiveness of the Corona warning app will only be shown in its practical test. Data protection is just one of many challenges

A warning app can be an important part of fighting the corona pandemic. But even if a technically functioning Corona warning app is available quickly,... Read more

Big Points of resource-conserving consumption: An issue for consumer advice beyond energy efficiency and climate protection

Conserving resources is a central goal of environmental policy. The German raw materials strategy was adopted in 2010, and the German Resource... Read more

The future in sight: Meat of the future – Trend report assessing the environmental impact of plant-based meat substitutes, edible insects and in vitro meat

Meat has come under increasing criticism in recent years. Meat substitutes are becoming more and more popular in Germany and could become a genuine... Read more

Gorwa, R., R. Binns & C. Katzenbach
Algorithmic content moderation: Technical and political challenges in the automation of platform governance

As government pressure on major technology companies builds, both firms and legislators are searching for technical solutions to difficult platform... Read more