Digital Consumer Protection in the EU

In April 2018, the Commission proposed a New Deal for Consumers which will further strengthen Consumer rights online:

  • Online market places will have to inform consumers whether they are buying from a trader or a private individual, so they are aware of their rights if something goes wrong
  • When consumers search online, they will be clearly informed when a search result is being paid for by a trader and online marketplaces will have to inform about the main parameters determining the ranking of the results.
  • When consumers pay for a digital service, they will benefit from certain information rights with 14 days to cancel the contract.

Read about the New Deal for Consumers here:

Factsheet New Deal Consumer Benefits 2019

As of January 2020, new rules make it easier for Member States to protect consumers online. The rules will enable the removal of sites or social media accounts where scams have been identified. It will also be possible to request information from internet service providers or banks, in order to trace the identity of rogue online traders.

The Commission has proposed new rules for digital contracts that would create clearer rights for consumers when accessing digital content and digital services. For example, if the digital content they receive is not as agreed or as they reasonably expected;they would have specific contractual rights. These rights would also apply when the consumer has provided personal data to the trader without paying a price. The European Parliament and the Council adopted the digital contracts directives on 20 May 2019. The new rules will begin to apply throughout the EU by the end of 2021.

Read about the new rules here:

Factsheet Digital Contracts


In her political guidelines, the current President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has committed to upgrade the Union’s liability and safety rules for digital platforms, services and products, with a new Digital Services Act.

On 29 January 2020, the European Commission’s Work Programme 2020 was published. Under the second priority – ‘A Europe fit for the digital age’-  the Commission announced its intention to put forward a new Digital Services Act in Q4 2020 in order to reinforce the single market for digital services and help provide smaller businesses with the legal clarity and level playing field they need. In the European Parliament, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) has published a draft report with recommendations to the Commission on a Digital Services Act in April 2020 here:

IMCO PR 648474 EN

Key dates for the Digital Services Act 2020-2021:

  • European Commission’s consultation: June 2020
  • European Commission’s legislative proposal: Q1 2021

Read The European Consumer Organisation’s position here:

Beuc X 2020 031 Making The Digital Services Act Work For Consumers Beucs Recommendations