Digital trade

About

While trade may conjure up images of physical goods being shipped across the world, a lot of it (partially) takes place online. This brings major changes for consumers ranging from non-EU providers offering their services to European residents, to our online shopping opportunities.

Modern digital markets are fuelled by personal data. In e-commerce, for example, a consumer’s personal data needs to be processed to conclude an online sale. Citizens shouldn’t need to care about territorial borders, although regulations on how to protect these data differ widely around the world.

We work to prevent trade negotiations from undermining fundamental rights to privacy and personal data protection, and ultimately, trust in the online economy. We also cooperate with Consumers International to promote consumer trust in global e-commerce as discussions on the topic are intensifying at the World Trade Organization.

Our work on digital trade started with monitoring the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). This is an agreement on trade in services negotiated by the European Union and 22 other countries. It proposes to make trade in services such as e-commerce, telecommunications, financial services and transport between those countries easier.

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