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

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
Vending machine

Why eating right is an everyday challenge

Everyone is back to their pre-summer routine: back to school, back to work, back to stress. Does that mean a return to bad eating habits? It might not, if you can resist putting that sugar-laden cereal bar in your shopping...

/ September 22, 2016
Surfing the internet

Society wins as Europe moves to protect an open internet

A few days ago, European regulators issued a set of historic rules which frame the future of internet access in Europe. These rules clarify how Europe’s recent net neutrality law, a sometimes unclear text which was issued at the end...

/ September 8, 2016
Adaptive pathways

When drug approval is quick, it should not be dirty

Imagine you or a loved one have a disease. It can be treated, but only with a new medicine that is not yet available. The time it normally takes for a new drug to reach the market means it might...

/ July 25, 2016
eye make up

Did TTIP push the EU to scrap precaution on endocrine disruptors?

Last month, the European Commission broke a promise it had made to you and all other EU citizens. The promise? That the EU will not trade away the ’precautionary principle’ to strike a trade deal with the United States (known...

/ July 14, 2016

Technology to the rescue of finance?

Enter ‘Fintech’ into your favourite search engine. You will discover a whole universe of new technologies, companies and services, all set to revolutionise the way consumers manage their personal financial life. Smart apps and on-line platforms offer consumers tailored banking,...

/ June 30, 2016
Close-up of a keyboard with a "Do Not Enter" sign placed on the enter.

Why we must stop geo-blocking for audiovisual services

Geo-blocking is perhaps the most controversial element of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market agenda because it is about challenging a status quo. In an article recently published in POLITICO Europe, Michael Ryan, chairman of the Independent Film and Television...

/ June 24, 2016
bank notes

Why digital can’t replace cash

We live in a digital era where smartphones rule. These intelligent devices offer consumers instant and convenient access to information, services, shopping, banking and payments. So a logical question is to ask whether banknotes and coins still have a role...

/ June 16, 2016