Safeguarding and further development of the sector-specific level of consumer protection is of particular concern to Austrian Chamber of Labour (AK). AK is committed to ensuring that the consumers’ need for up-to-date protection against a lack of transparency, deception, cheating and fraud on the internet is adequately taken into account. AK is therefore taking the preparations for the revision of Directive 2000/31/EC, with the aim of creating a new Digital Services Act, as an opportunity to point out the following matters:
- Transparency of rankings on all platforms
Especially in the case of news-related content, which is a main source of information for many consumers on platforms, consumers are expecting clarity on the factors used in rankings.
- Ensuring a uniform level of regulation for online advertising
The principles contained in the e-Commerce Directive with regard to advertising are important but do not provide sufficient and up-to-date protection for consumers. It is high time for a uniform and strict level of regulation for online advertising.
- Consumers should also benefit from the protection of the Platform to Business Regulation
The EU regulation must not only protect third-party providers in online marketplaces from a lack of transparency and discrimination, consumers must also benefit from this protection.
- Ensure net neutrality at platform level
Platforms with gatekeeper functions must also be obliged to respect the principle of net neutrality. Compliance must be monitored by a supervisory authority.
- Fight against cybercrime on platforms
Cybercrime on platforms is growing rapidly. A mandatory European company register for online provides and clear rules of conduct for platforms can contribute to effectively prevent harm to consumers and thus avert a threatened loss of confidence in the safe use of online services.
- Retain graded liability of internet operators
The maxim not to impose general, blanket obligations of prior checking on internet access and host providers in cases affecting fundamental rights must be maintained (Art. 15 of the e-Commerce Directive)
- Detailed rules for “Notice and Takedown”
In order to prevent “over-blocking” and to guarantee freedom of expression, clear criteria are needed for the composition of those bodies that decide on blocking and deletion. “Privatised law enforcement” must be rejected.