Wednesday 24 November 08:30-10:00 room C1


The Internet opens up uncharted new means of communicating, and will soon change drastically the way we are living, working, doing business, banking and more . The possibilities seem unlimited with the proper technological developments, the right legal and regulatory environment, and, most importantly, the correct understanding of the consumers expectations and demands. Building trust and confidence is the challenge for a full exploitation of the information society potentialities.

The nascent information society is already challenging existing legislation and regulation. In many cases it is not obvious how to adapt or to change laws and rules, or how to introduce the appropriate new ones. Because of these uncertainties, consumers do not always have the necessary trust and confidence in "the rules of the game" set up by the legal landscape. The lack of such trust and confidence prevents consumers from fully exploiting the information society potentialities.
The development of the information society heavily builds on advanced technologies consumers are not expected to grasp, and still one expects them to have trust and confidence in what they do not understand!

The session will address trust and confidence with the consumers as a focal point. Issues covered will include the question of privacy, the role of technology, the legislation and regulation, and the consumer protection. The speakers will identify the various trust and confidence building requirements and discuss the possible technical, legal, and regulatory solutions addressing these requirements.


Chairperson: Gerard J. Nauwelaerts (B)

  • Marc Rotenberg (USA), Electronic Privacy Information Center: No E-Commerce without E-Privacy
  • Ursula Pach (B), The European Consumers' Organisation: Consumer protection in the information society
  • Dominique Brouchet (F), GIE Echangeur: Confusion doesn’t help sales to boom


Jens Kristensen (Jens.Kristensen@cec.eu.int)

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