Platform Futures Roundtable Series: 1 + 1 = 3: When Consumer Protection and Digital Rights Converge
7 September 2022, 10am Brussels 1:30pm Mumbai 4pm Hong kong / 📍Online

The consumer protection movement has a long history of advocating for changes in products and services - and the terms and conditions that govern their use - in the public interest. Increasingly, their mission has had to engage with digital goods and transactions, and the new types of fraud, scams, and harms that they enable. Equally, digital rights advocates have played a key role in centering end-user rights and freedoms while challenging power and information asymmetries in the tech sector. 

 

Both sets of actors have had to contend with the increased platformization of everyday life. The combination of digital transformation initiatives and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend, as commercial transactions, welfare programs and social interactions have moved online. In parallel, governments have had to contend with the consequences, and seek to address it through a set of legal and regulatory tools, with a focus on competition, data protection, cybersecurity and disinformation. What can consumer protection and the consumer rights movement add to a space dominated by tech policy and digital rights organizations? How can the two work in tandem to amplify their impact?

 

Digital Asia Hub and Consumers International hosted this roundtable discussion exploring the intersections between consumer protection and digital rights, to contextualise end-user harms, and to orient the discourse and legal frameworks around consumer experiences and rights. In particular, the discussion touched on:

●      How consumer interests can be articulated and effected in platform governance debates

●      How we can think about individual and collective interests in platformized societies 

●      What sorts of research and open questions academia and civil society should engage with and prioritize in this space

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Panelists

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Prabhat Agarwal

Head of Unit “Digital Services and Platforms, European Commission"
(co-draftsman of the DSA and DMA package

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Helani Galpaya

Executive Director

LIRNEAsia 

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Youkyung Huh
Executive Director

 Consumers Korea

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Helena Leurent
Director General

Consumers International

Facilitators

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Malavika Jayaram
Executive Director
Digital Asia Hub

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Dev Lewis
Fellow
Digital Asia Hub