The European Parliament today adopted a new digital contract law by revising the Consumer Sales Directive and approving a brand new Directive on the supply of digital content. The new rules will also apply when someone enters into a contractual relationship for a product or service by providing their data rather than money.
With the sinking cost of electronic gadgets and the growing market for Big Data and targeted marketing, companies have increasingly given consumer electronics without charge. Already now, some consumer electronics are being sold at the manufacturing price or less. The main purpose of such ‘giveaways’ is the collection and monetisation of users’ data.
Evelyne Gebhardt MEP, negotiator for the European Parliament internal market and consumer protection committee said:
“After intense negotiations we are adopting today a new regulatory framework, which bolsters consumer rights and increases legal certainty. It addresses the most pressing questions of consumer contracts in the digital sphere today, such as software-updates, modifications of digital content/service, and termination procedure.
"However, our greatest triumph is that customers online will now have the same protection as those offline. For example, anyone buying digital music from the Apple Store or Amazon music will have exactly the same level of protection and guarantees as someone buying a physical CD in a shop.”
S&D MEP and vice-chair of the internal market and consumer protection committee, Lucy Anderson added:
"This new regulatory framework will help fix the current broken system. EU consumers often face unfair commercial practices and contract terms, and lack remedies for faulty digital content, such as apps, music, cloud services, online games and social media. This directive also applies to scenarios in which consumers provide data in exchange for content or services. So from now on consumer protection rights will apply when a customer enters into a contract by providing their data or paying with money."