Play it again, Siri – what Apple’s acquisition of Shazam could mean to consumers

It’s Sunday afternoon and it’s raining outside. You want to relax at home watching a classic, and you go for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. In one scene there’s a song you fall in love with, so you quickly grab your...

/ April 12, 2018

How Google is eroding consumers’ freedom to choose

Google hit the headlines last year when the European Commission fined the tech giant €2.42 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules. It has been argued the European Commission has over-stepped the line here. After all, if people like and use...

/ March 14, 2018

e-Privacy and the doorstep salesmen

In the European lobby city, Brussels, foes of strong e-Privacy rules have spread the term “consent fatigue”. Behind this phrase is the ‘concern’ of the advertising industry that since consumers have to give their consent – for snooping on them...

/ October 17, 2017

Roaming done. International calls next

Since 15 June, roaming fees in the EU are part of history. That is undoubtedly great news for consumers and a big step towards the creation of a single market for telecom services. But it has also created a terrible...

/ August 28, 2017

#Toyfail: When toys fail children

What would you say if the doll you bought for Christmas was used to eavesdrop on your child, or if the conversation you have with the doll was used for targeted advertising and shared with unnamed 3rd parties? Most of...

/ December 6, 2016

“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

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

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

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

Big data, smart enforcement

Last week I spoke at a conference which was jointly organised by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and BEUC. Its motto hit the nail on the head: how can privacy rights be enforced in an era where big data...

/ October 7, 2016