21 April 2021
The European Commission unveiled today its proposal for a law on artificial intelligence (AI). The proposal falls short of consumer groups’ expectations and of the EU’s own objective of enabling AI that people can trust. The proposed rules are focused on a very limited range of AI uses and issues. They do not adequately protect consumers, for example from possible economic harm caused by AI products and services. Getting this legislation right is essential so that AI benefits both the individual and society as a whole. The European Parliament and Member States must improve the proposal to ensure this goal can be met.
16 February 2021
The European Consumer Organisation BEUC has today filed a complaint with the European Commission and the network of consumer protection authorities against TikTok, a video sharing platform extremely popular with children and teenagers. In addition to BEUC’s complaint, consumer organisations in 15 countries have alerted their authorities and urged them to investigate the social media giant’s conduct.
10 February 2021
BEUC welcomes today’s European Commission decision that renders legally binding commitments by pharma company Aspen to reduce significantly the prices of certain anti-cancer drugs (by on average 73% in Europe for the next 10 years). The decision follows a Commission antitrust investigation opened in May 2017 into whether Aspen breached EU antitrust rules’ ban on dominant companies imposing unfair prices.
Our work areas
The internet has come to be a central element of the commercial, personal and professional lives of European consumers. While the digital environment grows bigger and more important, it must be remembered that consumers deserve as much protection online as they do offline.
For consumers to reap the benefits of the digital era, the protection of people’s privacy and personal data is at the forefront of our work. We also strive to ensure consumers have guaranteed and affordable access to the internet. We work to ensure that the openness and neutrality of the internet is protected. We advocate to strengthen consumer rights so that consumers for example enjoy competitive, fair, clear and transparent contracts. Besides this, without cybersecure digital tools and services consumers’ physical security and safety is at risk.
Despite its borderless character, consumers are confronted with content access restrictions depending on their nationality or country. Our work is to ensure consumers have access to a vibrant market of affordable legal offers for music and audiovisual content across Europe.
E-commerce shops, booking sites and social media play a pivotal role in people’s lives but very often consumers are harmed because of scams, unsafe products sold online and misleading practices. We therefore aim to make platforms more responsible for their offers and services.
Artificial intelligence is changing our societies. It evokes big promises to make consumers’ lives easier and better but comes along with many concerns. Consumers are at risk of becoming subject to discriminatory treatment and non-transparent decisions. Our aim is to ensure that the development and use of AI is adequately regulated and that consumers have strong rights so that they are protected and can reap the benefits of the digital transformation of our societies.
- Ensure consumers enjoy a high level of personal data protection and online privacy.
- Ensure the Telecoms Single Market delivers to consumers’ expectations on fair competition, better pricing, stronger consumers’ rights and affordable and secure access to the full internet.
- Make online platforms responsible for the products and services they offer. Those who benefit financially from illegal activities need to be accountable and have obligations too.
- The introduction of a horizontal cybersecurity law that would lead to connected products meeting certain minimum requirements before they hit the market.
- Put in place a strong set of AI consumer rights for instance on accountability, transparency and control of AI.