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Governments take first step towards an official UN World Consumer Protection Week

06 July 2017

Consumers International has welcomed the G20 Leaders’ declaration and the recognition that “Trust in digital technologies requires effective consumer protection, intellectual property rights, transparency, and security in the use of ICT.” The declaration also includes statements on privacy and data protection, security, access and inclusion and e-commerce.

The G20 leaders’ declaration follows the first ever G20 Consumer Summit that was held on 15 March, World Consumer Rights Day, on the theme of ‘Building a Digital World Consumers can Trust’.  At the summit, which was co-hosted by Consumers International, the German Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Federation of German Consumer Organisations, Consumers International presented a set of recommendations to the G20 on behalf of the consumer movement that called for the G20 to take action in a number of areas important to consumer trust.

The G20 Leaders’ declaration supports a statement made by G20 Ministers for the Digital Economy in April that supported the continuation of work on international public policy issues under the Argentinean presidency on “how to protect consumers in the digital economy including and inviting international organisations such as UNCTAD, the OECD and Consumers International.

On the key issues of data protection and privacy, and security where surveys show high levels of concern amongst consumers, the G20 leaders committed to “respecting applicable legal frameworks for privacy, data protection” and “helping to ensure a secure ICT environment in which all sectors are able to enjoy its benefits and reaffirm the importance of collectively addressing issues of security in the use of ICTs.

With less than half the world’s population currently connected to the internet, Consumers International was also pleased that the G20 declaration addressed the urgent need to increase access and inclusion committing to “bridge digital divides along multiple dimensions, including income, age, geography and gender” and to “strive to ensure that all our citizens are digitally connected by 2025.”

On e-commerce, the G20 committed to “sustain and improve, as appropriate, predictable and transparent frameworks on digital trade” a key area for consumers.”

Our View

The G20 have made real progress this year in recognising the importance of building a digital economy consumers can trust. Our challenge now is to put these commitments into practice – a challenge that will require a willingness to work across traditional ideas of government, business and civil society to find solutions that make a real difference for consumers in a fast-moving global digital world.

Amanda Long, Director General, Consumers International