Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen exchange knowledge about enforcement activities

The Consumer Ombudsmen in the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark met in Copenhagen on 5-6 September 2019 to discuss common challenges for the efficient enforcement of consumer rights.

The Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen face the same problems and challenges, when enforcing consumer protection legislation. The legislation is essentially the same in all the Nordic countries. The Nordic colleagues noted that they prioritize their enforcement resources to deal with many of the same commetarcial trends and activities. Exchange of knowledge, experience and interpretation of the legislation is therefore very useful.

No doubt that the use of personal data and artificial intelligence is creating complex marketing techniques toward consumers e.g. by personalized offers and advertisements. It also causes business practices, e.g. by collecting data as means of payment and using individual price settings, which pose new challenges for consumer protection authorities. Cooperation between data protection authorities and consumer protection authorities is vital to address these issues. The Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen decided to set up a task force to exchange knowledge and consider common initiatives.

The Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen also addressed the use of green or sustainable claims. The attention to pollution and climate changes intensified during the last years. To meet the consciousness and worry among consumers, traders increasingly use environmental claims and greenwashing to promote and sell their products.

The Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen welcome business’ efforts to realize the need for protecting the environment and climate – provided it is for real. Thus, false green claims are no-go.

To ensure that green claims can be met with trust the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen will prioritize the supervision of environmental claims for the coming years.

The Consumer Ombudsmen also noted that marketing of consumer credits is a prioritized issue by all the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen and that marketing of online games is growing, i.a. towards children and young people. Furthermore, the prohibition of hidden advertisement on the social media continuously is requiring attention from authorities.

The Nordic meeting next year will take place in Torshavn, the Faroe Islands.