The digital economy has changed the way we live our lives and the relationship between consumers and products, services and content. From the way we shop through to the way we make bank transfers, digital services are a key part of everyday life, revolutionising the ways in which businesses deliver products and services to their customers.
Fragmented company and consumer law across EU Member States, as well as potentially prescriptive data protection legislation, all present stumbling blocks for businesses in their pursuit to do more online across the Union, in turn presenting barriers to the customers. Co-ordinating some aspects of company and consumer law will be necessary to cut red tape when it comes to growing businesses exporting online, and will need to be underpinned by a data protection framework that protects and boosts the confidence of consumers, whilst allowing businesses to use innovative means to boost their trade across borders.
To overcome these four broad obstacles, there are areas where the Commission will need to intervene, and others where it will need to step back, in order to:
- Unlock private investment to deliver next generation internet access
- Ensure investment in online content available across borders
- Co-ordinate aspects of company and consumer law to boost ecommerce
- Agree a workable data protection regime that boosts customer confidence and allows for innovative data-use.