Consumers in the Information Society: Access, Fairness and Representation

Front coverThe opportunities and challenges that face consumers in today's online digital environment raise a range of new issues for the global consumer movement.  For example, products that were once sold as goods, are now packaged as digital services, lacking many of the incidents of ownership that consumers expect.  They are often delivered over broadband networks for which there are no uniform consumer protection standards.  Many of the institutions making decisions for this digital environment do so without first hearing from consumers about their rights, interests and concerns.

Members of Consumers International (CI), the only global campaigning voice for consumers, came together from around the world to discuss and set an agenda for advocacy on these issues, at the first global summit Consumers in the Information Society: Access, Fairness and Representation held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 8 and 9 March 2012.  This book contains the research reports and working papers presented at that conference, including Consumers International's work on:

  • How the consumer movement can fight back against the insidious abuse of intellectual property rights by some large businesses, who use technology and "fine print" in consumer contracts to limit fair uses of cultural and educational materials that copyright law would otherwise allow.
  • Mapping the landscape of governance in the information society, to reveal where consumers are poorly represented in the institutions that wield power online, and to suggest how we can be given a louder voice in guiding these institutions to take account of our needs.
  • CI's leadership of an ambitious campaign to firmly reestablish a progressive agenda for today's connected consumers, through proposed revisions to the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection.


Creative Commons license icon
This work is licensed under a Attribution Share Alike Creative Commons license