Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Action 61: Educate consumers on the new media

Article
Develop in 2011 an online consumer education tool on new media technologies (e.g. consumer rights on the internet, eCommerce, data protection, media literacy, social networks, etc). This tool will provide customised information and education materials for consumers, teachers and other multipliers in the 27 Member States.
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What is the problem? Consumers do not feel as comfortable and well informed shopping online as they do offline. They have difficulties finding information about buying and exercising their rights in the digital environment.

Consumers should be able to access user-friendly information about how to fully benefit from digital technologies. Online education is crucial to improving consumers' experience online.

Why is EU action necessary? Awareness and critical autonomy towards new media EU-wide will increase the consumers' skills, attitudes and knowledge required for living in an information society and can generate spill-over effects that boost growth, jobs and innovation in the digital single market

Building on current tools such as the current online consumer education website DOLCETA, the European Commission will develop an online education module on new media technologies. The aim is to present user-friendly information to consumers on the use of digital technologies in different languages.

Giving consumers clear information about their rights will increase trust and help unlock the full economic potential of Europe's single online market. One of the goals is also to provide training plans for teachers who could spread the word about internet rights in their schools.

What has the Commission done so far?

In 2012:

  • The Commission worked on a review of the Code of EU online Rights. An updated version, taking the latest legislatives developments into account, will be published imminently.
  • The Commission began developing a community educational website called "Consumer Classroom", aimed at teachers of 12-18 year-olds, which will provide them with free access to educational materials related to consumer issues.

What will the European Commission do?

In 2013:

  • The Consumer Classroom should be launched officially on 15 March 2013 with DOLCETA being kept online until June 2013 to provide continuity for existing users.