Akshay Yadav, Research Associate, Chair on Consumer Law and Practice, National Law School of India University Bangalore during the 2023 Consumers International Global Congress which opened in Nairobi, the Kenya capital.
The leading Indian Consumer right scholar has decried the lag in consumer protection measures in digital sphere globally.
Akshay Yadav, Research Associate, Chair on Consumer Law and Practice, National Law School of India University Bangalore said that there is a pressing need for increased transparency and adherence to key standards was a central theme of the discussions.
Yadav made the remarks during the 2023 Consumers International Global Congress which opened in Nairobi, the Kenya capital, Wednesday to promote consumer rights across the world.
The three day conference that was held under the theme of “Building a Resilient Future for Consumers,” brought together delegates from more than 100 countries composed of senior government officials, international organizations, consumer rights advocates and scholars to review the status of consumer protection across the world.
The conference underscored the transformative potential of new technologies while emphasizing the need for urgent and dramatic changes to protect consumers and prevent the collapse of trust in the online world.
The key takeways from the conference
Trust in the Online World: The conference emphasized the urgent need for transformative measures to avert the collapse of trust in the online world. New technologies, while offering unprecedented opportunities, also bring significant risks,particularly in areas like Buy Now Pay Later, mobile money, and cryptocurrency.
Consumer Protection Lagging: Participants highlighted the lag in consumer protection measures in the digital sphere globally. The pressing need for increased transparency and adherence to key standards was a central theme of the discussions.
Global Collaboration: The call for international collaboration resonated throughout the conference. Stakeholders stressed the importance of connection and collaboration to strengthen consumer protection standards, ensuring consistency across borders and sectors.
AI Impact: Generative AI’s potential impact on consumers, including misinformation challenges, took center stage. Delegates emphasized the importance of consumer-led regulation, ethical standards, and a global approach to address concerns surrounding AI.
Product Safety: The conference addressed the alarming persistence of banned or recalled products in online marketplaces. Speakers emphasized the necessity for better regulation and voluntary initiatives, with a focus on cross-border collaboration to protect consumers.
Digital Finance Initiative: The launch of the “Building the Consumer Voice into Digital Finance” initiative marked a significant step towards exploring models that enhance consumer protection globally. Ensuring consumer literacy and trust emerged as pivotal for the success of innovative finance models.
Data Governance: Discussions highlighted the need for harmonization of data governance frameworks globally and increased transparency in trade agreements. Collaboration was emphasized as the cornerstone of responsible data governance.
Consumer Literacy in Mobile Money, Tackling Scams, Honesty Around Algorithms, Sustainability were the other topics discussed during the programmes.