World Consumer Rights Day 2019
Wednesday 13 March
WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY 2019:
“Trusted Smart Products”
On 15 March 2019, consumer organisations across the globe will celebrate World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD). This year the theme for WCRD is “Trusted Smart Products”, with the campaign aimed at promoting the development of digital products and services that consumers want and need.
The CARICOM Competition Commission (“Commission”) recognises that over the past decade the use of smart products and smartphones, have increased within the region. Smart devices and smartphones provide many opportunities and conveniences for consumers in their daily lives. However, despite the personalised benefits these smart products and their associated application software provide, they also raise several important concerns for consumers relating to data protection and privacy.
Data privacy, in particular, is one of the most critical social issues associated with digital electronic information technologies. The protection of personal data and privacy are key drivers for consumer trust in smart devices and smartphones. As such, the fair, safe and transparent use and collection of consumer data is important. As a region, we must ensure the reform of national laws and policies to mitigate against the erosion of privacy resulting from technology-based systems and practices and protect the right of consumers to privacy.
Within CARICOM, data privacy is dealt with by many of the Member States under various pieces of legislation which all seek to regulate the collection, storage, processing, use and dissemination of personal data, and the protection of the privacy of individuals in relation to personal data.
This year, the Commission looks forward to exploring the issue of internet privacy and data collection from the consumer protection and competition law perspectives. Noting that within the international arena the implications of “big” data collection by dominant business enterprises on competition in digital marketplaces is a budding discussion, the Commission will commence the engagement of its regional and international partners and continue to monitor these developments.
For any more information about the work of the Commission in consumer protection and competition law, please view our website at www.caricomcompetitioncommission.com.
Justice Christopher Blackman
CARICOM Competition Commission