Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen highlight the importance of consumer protection in digital world

The Consumer Ombudsmen of Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden underline the effective enforcement of consumer law in the digital world. The Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen met in Helsinki, Finland on 4-5 May to share views and discuss consumer protection issues of digital society. 

The Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen agreed on and emphasized three pivotal points:

  • Same rules apply in the digital economy as elsewhere. Consumer legislation is valid also in the digital economy. Enforcement of consumer law is as necessary in the digital world as elsewhere.
  • It is important that Consumer protection authorities constantly improve and refine their enforcement tools to keep up with digital development and digital markets. Consumer protection authorities in Nordic countries see the need of developing their set of enforcement tools and knowledge by investing in IT forensic or by other relevant means to better detect practices in digital environment that are against the law.
  • A closer cooperation between the data protection and consumer protection authorities is needed. Cooperation is needed to ensure that companies provide the necessary information to consumers regarding digital products and personal data use, and that consumers know clearly what data will be collected and for which purposes it will be used. The use of consumer data is not only a privacy issue but also an increasingly important consumer issue.

“Digital markets require close cooperation and effective enforcement measures.Development is so fast that it is really important that enforcement authorities also keep up with the pace. New set of tools and knowledge are needed for us as enforcers. And what consumers need is an equal level of protection both online and offline”, says Consumer Ombudsman of Finland Päivi Hentunen.

At their meeting, the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen discussed various digital economy topics, including the interaction between the new data protection regime and consumer protection, as well as consumer problems in Internet of Things, such as the security and privacy issues which are not separate from consumer protection.

The discussions and cooperation with these themes among Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen will continue.

More information:
Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen issue a statement on consumer privacy. Press Release by FCCA on 14 October 2016.