Action 17: Stakeholder platform for EU online trustmarks
Create a stakeholder platform by 2012 for EU online trustmarks, notably for retail websites.
What is the problem? Online trustmarks have good, but limited impact
In some countries, there exist trustmarks and trustmark providers that inform consumers whether the website complies with a certain set of rules. The trustmarks can be certified according to a national certification scheme and the certification process can be supervised by the competent authority. In some cases the trustmarks are based on mutual agreements between the retailer and the trustmark provider without any official certification scheme. The aim of trustmarks is to guarantee the quality and security of the online transaction. Trustmarks can boost consumer confidence in cyberspace.
However, the trustmark schemes are often unknown to consumers and especially unknown outside consumer's home country. As a result, EU citizens find it difficult to identify reputable e-merchants in other EU markets and are therefore reluctant to shop online from another country;
Why is EU action needed? To develop EU trustmarks for EU-wide trust
The Commission is exploring the usefulness and benefits of the EU-wide trustmark schemes to reassure consumers on the reliability of accredited traders.
The Commission will also encourage the establishment of pan-EU price-comparison websites. If certified by reliable trustmark, such sites would help consumers to make informed decisions, when using online retail services. Consumers would benefit from the knowledge that the price comparison site and the listed merchants are accredited and trustworthy. They would find out about shopping opportunities outside their home market and know which foreign sites to trust.
What will the European Commission do?
The European Commission will
By October 2012:
Conduct a detailed analysis of options for EU online trustmarks.
Elaborate different policy options for EU-wide trustmark schemes and the effectiveness of cooperation platforms in the governance of such trustmark systems.
By end 2012
Decide on appropriate steps on European trustmarks