The consumer movement marks 15th March with World Consumer Rights Day every year, as a means of raising global awareness about consumer rights and needs. Celebrating the day is a chance to demand that the rights of all consumers are respected and protected, and to protest against market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights.
World Consumer Rights Day was inspired by President John F Kennedy, who sent a special message to the US Congress on 15th March 1962, in which he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights. He was the first world leader to do so. The consumer movement first marked that date in 1983 and now uses the day every year to mobilise action on important issues and campaigns.
The theme for World Consumer Rights Day 2019 will be ‘Trusted Smart Products’.Smart products are connected to the internet and receive, collect and send data. Globally, there are currently 23.1 billion smart products in the world, outnumbering people three to one.
As more people come online across the world and our connection to the internet becomes better and faster, smart products will become more of a day-to-day reality for consumers everywhere, marking a major change in the way many consumers interact with products and services.
The emergence of smart technology brings many opportunities for consumers; access to new services, more responsive products, greater convenience and choice. There are, however, some significant causes for concern: lack of security, privacy and meaningful choice over how we use them, as well as a lack of clarity about who is responsible when things go wrong.
There are also issues around lack of access, with millions of people globally locked out of this new technology by overly high data charges.
Consumers International have a range of social media activities you can take part in for the day – connect with them on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest news and announcements about the day. You can keep track of all the #WCRD2019 activity from across the globe via the live map, and join the call for trusted smart products by using the #BetterDigitalWorld hashtag.