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Online platforms inquiry hears from experts in consumer rights

09 October 2015

On Monday 12 October the EU Internal Market Sub-Committee hears from experts who will focus on consumer experience of online platforms.

Witnesses

The evidence session takes place on Monday 12 October in Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster.

At 2.15pm:

  • Agustin Reyna, Chief Legal Officer, BEUC, (a European consumer organisation)
  • Jason Freeman, Director, Consumer Law at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
  • Associate Professor Annabelle Gawer, expert on platforms at Imperial College London
  • Joe McNamee, Executive Director, EDRI (a European digital rights organisation)

Background

On 17 September 2015, the House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee launched its inquiry into online platforms and the EU Digital Single Market. The inquiry aims to investigate how online platforms  operate, how they use data, and, amongst other issues, what benefits and problems they bring to consumers. The inquiry will examine the growing influence of online platforms, and consider the European Commission’s consultation around further regulation.

Likely questions

Questions which the witnesses are likely to face include:

  • What are the potential problems faced by consumers?
  • Data protection is cited as a consumer concern – is this justified?
  • Are the regulations around data protection fit for purpose?
  • How do consumers view shared economy platforms such as Uber?
  • How do Member State attitudes to online platforms differ?
  • Why is the European Commission interested in potential further regulation?
  • What should the Commission and UK Government do?

Timeline

The inquiry’s Call for Evidence was also launched on 17 September but is due to close on Friday, 16 October.

 Further information

 Image: iStockphoto

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