TTIP is hibernating. So let’s improve it.

At this point it’s perhaps a bit cliché to say it, but free trade is on shaky ground. Public support for trade liberalisation is waning, the Financial Times illustrated. This scepticism is very much highlighted by wrangling on a proposed...

/ November 25, 2016
Woman puts her finger on an icon of a house shown on the touch screen of a digital tablet. The tablet runs a smart home app. Concept of controlling wireless devices at home, also know as internet of things.

“I want my update!”

Imagine you want to buy a new mobile phone: a smartphone that is a software-driven internet device. You expect this new device to work on the latest technology. You expect that it will be able to run the latest apps....

/ November 22, 2016
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What does the EU copyright reform mean to you as a consumer?

In September, the European Commission revealed its plans to modernise EU copyright laws. “Why is that important for me?” you might think. Fair point. For most consumers copyright law does not top the list of their daily concerns. But think...

/ November 14, 2016
Air passenger rights

Not enforcing consumer rights costs air passengers millions

Your flight was cancelled at the last moment. Or you found out at the airport that you cannot check in as your flight was overbooked. Sounds familiar? That’s because millions of people find themselves in this kind of situation all...

/ November 10, 2016
Apps

Keep an eye on WhatsApp

In September 2016, WhatsApp started to share personal information with its mother company Facebook. The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) is fighting for WhatsApp to respect your privacy. Imagine You would like to use a specific messenger service on...

/ November 2, 2016
Medicine tablets

Lisa’s story and the price of anti-cancer drugs

The child of a dear friend of mine, whose name is Lisa, unfortunately developed cancer when she was only 4. She is now 8 and has received the all-clear from the doctors. She was one of the lucky children who...

/ October 27, 2016
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Why privacy safeguards in trade deals need urgent improvement

The EU and 22 other countries are closing in on a huge deal to liberalise trade in services. One of the few pending issues in this Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) is the question of how to make sure trade...

/ October 20, 2016
Complicated maths

Fuzzy maths or how the Commission solves ‘costly’ chemicals laws

The European Commission is running EU chemicals laws through its REFIT machine. REFIT sounds like a strenuous fitness regime for overweight risk managers, right!? It’s not. Instead, it is a Commission programme that looks to streamline EU laws – a...

/ October 18, 2016
A smiling service worker offering a credit card terminal to a customer. Blurred face, focus on credit card register.

Paying abroad may be costing you more than it should

You’ve probably never heard of the term ‘dynamic currency conversion’. But you’ve probably done it on holiday or on a business trip. And it’s most likely cost you money. Dynamic currency conversion is a service merchants offer consumers when they...

/ October 12, 2016
Concept of sharing economy. Driver reponds to message on smart phone and gets in contract with customer, who needs a ride.

The consumer-policy nuts and bolts of the sharing economy

The sharing economy is a phenomenon which profoundly changes the way consumers buy or rent goods and services. It also allows consumers to enter the market to provide goods, services, time or skills themselves and become – what we call...

/ October 11, 2016