This World Consumer Rights Day, 15 March, 2019, the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) is joining consumer organizations around the world to call for Trusted Smart Products – Our Right to Information and Safety.
The day,coordinated by Consumers International,the membership organization for consumer groups around the world, is aiming to create a #BetterDigitalWorld by calling for smart products and phones to be built with safety and security, data privacy and protection in mind, as well as ensuring fair pricing and better access to mobile internet.
ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain said as part of the campaign the ICCC will be launching a campaign on Friday, 15th March at the Amphitheatre at Vision City Mega Mall. The ICCC is jointly supported by National Information Communications and TechnologyAuthority (NICTA) and Department of Communication, Information Technology Energy (DCITE) to commemorate this day in the interest of users of ICT producers and services.
“World Consumer Rights Day takes place every year to highlight consumer protection and empowerment issues, bringing together the global consumer movement to make lasting changes for people around the world.”
Commissioner Ain said that smart technology is a growing global phenomenon which is fundamentally changing the nature of many consumer products and services.
“The number of smart products has increased dramatically over the last few years, with smart products now outnumbering people three to one and smart phone connections doubling from two billion to four billion since 2015.”
“In light of this rapid increase, the need for relevant and appropriate information to consumers about the use of smart devices becomes more important. There is an increasing responsibility on the manufacturers and suppliers of smart products to provide timely and relevant information to consumers in the market place.”
Alongside this growth comes an increased concern about privacy, with 52% of users moreconcerned about their online privacy compared to one year ago.
However, the uptake of smart products and phones has been much slower in developing countries like Papua New Guinea.
Commissioner Ain added that one reason for this is the proportionally high cost of data in PNG. This World Consumer Rights Day, the Trusted Smart Products campaign will aim to highlight the importance of ensuring that everyone has access to reliable and affordable mobile internet.