ConPolicy Newsletter 2021 - 10

Dear Reader,


In today's issue ConPolicy informs you about: 

We wish you an exciting read!

Kind regards!

Your ConPolicy team

  News about ConPolicy

Consumer-friendly consent management initiative
ConPolicy initiates dialogue process for good practices for cookie consent

In practice, cookie consent on websites and in digital services is often anything but consumer-friendly and is sometimes obtained in a legally dubious manner. Such practices are also known as 'dark patterns' and 'deceptive designs'.

Against this background, ConPolicy has initiated a good practice initiative on cookie consent with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV), which is to be classified in the context of the BMJV CDR initiative as a thematic forum on consumer-friendly consent management.

Together with German and European stakeholders, a collection of good practices and recommendations for action on consumer-friendly, legally secure and practicable cookie consent is to be developed. Another goal of the initiative is to inform consumers about how they can recognize consumer-friendly consent management systems.

The results of the initiative are to be presented in summer 2022.

Further information on the project can be found here.

Role of technology for consumer empowerment
ConPolicy presents at an international event hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection

Today, the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection hosted an international online conference on consumer protection in the digital age. The Conference was co-organized with the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection with support by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

The conference addressed the question of how consumers can best benefit from the impacts of digitalization and how to best protect them against risks to their safety, privacy and self-determination.

ConPolicy-Executive Director, Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun, presented a speech about the question of how technologies could and should be used to empower consumers. His key conclusions were:

  1. Consumer-enabling technologies (CETs) should be one strategic element to empower consumers.
  2. However, they do not replace market regulation and “classical offline” empowerment strategies. CETs should be considered complementary.
  3. The potential of CETs is by far not yet leveraged.
  4. CETs can empower consumers directly or indirectly via market authorities and consumer organizations.
  5. Governments should have a strategy to support the development of CETs and invest in research and development in this field.

Online event for companies, municipalities and interested parties
With a nudge to more sustainability – Chances and limits of nudging

Nudging, that is, small impulses to encourage behavioral changes. In the joint project 'Green Nudging' by SAENA, energiekonsens, ConPolicy and KliBa, nudges are currently being tested in companies to trigger climate-friendly behavior. Can this approach help? What are the limits of nudging? How much influence should employers have on their employees' behavior? Is nudging manipulative?

During a virtual discussion round with speakers from science and business, we aim to clarify these and other. We would like to cordially invite you to follow the discussion or to actively participate in it. The event with the title 'With a nudge to more sustainability – Opportunities and limits of nudging' will take place on October 10, 2021, from 10:00 to 11:30 am.

If we have piqued your curiosity, you can get more information and register for the event here.

You can find more about this project here.

Publication and presentation of the study at a conference
Recommendations for action for sustainable public catering in NRW: ConPolicy study published

On the occasion of the conference 'Sustainable public catering in NRW' of the consumer center of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), a federal state within Germany, the study "Paths to a sustainable public catering in North Rhine-Westphalia" conducted by ConPolicy was published. During the conference, Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun presented the main results of the study in a forum and then moderated the discussion of the recommendations.

The study first highlights selected good practice examples of sustainable public catering, e.g. in schools or public canteens, in other cities and federal states. Based on an analysis of the specific framework conditions in NRW, recommendations for a (more) sustainable public catering in NRW are derived. It is recommended to initiate a dialogue process on sustainable nutrition to develop a nutrition strategy for NRW. Furthermore, it is recommended to initiate concrete implementation structures for municipalities: Regional competence centers for sustainable procurement and value creation, a state program for organic cities in NRW and a consulting organization for sustainable catering.

As part of the discussion forum 'Political strategies for sustainable public catering in NRW', the recommendations were discussed and enriched with further ideas. Overall, there was agreement that a political framework, e.g. through a nutrition strategy, is needed in order to successfully promote sustainable public catering in NRW.

An Executive Summary has been published for the long version of the study.

More information about the project can be found here.

  Consumer policy news

Many consumers refrain from repairing their damaged smartphones

Today, the digital association Bitkom published results of a new survey on the topic of smartphone repairs. According to the results, 37 percent of... Read more

Digital Scoreboard 2021: Consumers do not protect themselves sufficiently against cybercrime

Today, the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), together with the Police Crime Prevention of the Federal States and the Federation (ProPK),... Read more

Financial services
Latest complaints data reveals sharp rise in fraud and scam complaints

Today, the British Financial Ombudsman Service published the latest complaints data linked to financial businesses as well as frauds and scams. The... Read more

Majority of Germans use smart devices for personal health and entertainment

The digital association Bitkom published its comprehensive trend study ‘Future of Consumer Technology 2021’ today. According to the results, 'smart'... Read more

Data protection: One in ten cookie banners is clearly illegal

Today, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) presented the results of an investigation of cookie banners on websites. According to... Read more

More online purchases: Corona changes how we shop for groceries

Today, the digital association Bitkom published the results of a recent consumer survey on online grocery shopping. According to the results, the... Read more

  Recommended reading

acatech (Ed.)
Transformation of mobility

When people think of mobility, they often first think of the car, the bicycle, the bus or the train. But mobility is much more than that: it enables... Read more

Kroschwald, S.
Artificial intelligence in autonomous cars

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in autonomous vehicles raises data protection issues. The article analyzes areas of tension that arise during... Read more

Reisch L. & C. Sunstein
Plant-based by default

To mitigate climate change, food systems must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. For consumers, this means switching to more plant-based diets and... Read more

D. Scheld, O. Stolper & A. Walter
Double Dutch finally fixed? A large-scale investigation into the readability of mandatory financial product information

With the introduction of short-form disclosure documents, financial regulation in the EU emphasizes the use of plain language to facilitate... Read more

del Mar Solà, M., A. de Ayala & I. Galarraga
The effect of providing monetary information on energy savings for household appliances: A field trial in Spain

Energy labels are one of the most widely used policies in the European Union for increasing the energy efficiency of household appliances. However,... Read more

Gorton, M. et al.
What determines consumers' use of eco-labels? Taking a close look at label trust

Eco-labels are informational cues that transform credence into quasi-search attributes, but their influence on consumer decision-making is often... Read more

Chatzopoulou E. & A. de Kiewiet
Millennials' evaluation of corporate social responsibility: The wants and needs of the largest and most ethical generation

Millennials are the most ethical generation, yet their evaluations of ethical practice remain unexplored in academic literature. Recently, the field... Read more