BRICS bloc – home to 40 percent of humanity – wants to drive global e-commerce consumer protection rules

China has the giant e-tailers, India has the customers, Brazil, Russia and South Africa are aboard

The annual BRICS summit – a high-level meeting between Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – has resolved to explore development e-commerce consumer protections, both for their own citizens and possibly for the rest of the world.

The BRICS bloc formed in 2009 with the aim of giving member’ rapidly-developing economies a collective forum with which to advance their global agendas and facilitate intra-bloc trade and co-operation. South Africa joined in 2010.

This year’s summit went virtual, denying Russia its turn as host. But moving to a video meeting didn’t stop diplomats writing a Summit Declaration that, once it gets the carefully-worded diplomatic language out of the way, signalled the bloc’s e-commerce intentions as follows:

“We recognize the potential for establishing a workstream to examine the experience of BRICS and other countries, as well as international associations in the field of consumer protection in e-commerce and create a basis for exploring the development of a practical framework for ensuring consumer protection in the BRICS countries, including through pilot projects and initiatives.”

That terminology means the deal is far from done, but does signal that the BRICS might just do some work on consumer protection and try to get their own norms adopted, or at least considered, outside the bloc.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

30 percent of world agrees not to require onshore storage for e-commerce customer data


As the BRICS represent around 40 percent of humanity, norms they adopt within their borders will be influential. And as China has the world’s most colossal e-tailers its interest in developing consumer protection standards – on top of its moves last week to improve them at home - suggests a snowball has been set to rolling.

The Declaration also include an expression of concern “over the rising level and complexity of criminal misuse of ICTs as well as the absence of a multilateral framework to counter the use of ICTs for criminal purposes.” The Bloc wants the United Nations to sort that with a treaty.

The group also called for justice systems to be digitalised, for more information technology training, and expressed the strong hope that online child exploitation will be combatted fiercely. ®

Similar topics

Narrower topics

Other stories you might like

  • China tells big tech to reveal some customers' income
    Livestreamed infomercials are huge, but some creators aren't paying tax

    China's massive live-streaming industry is the next target of China's tech regulation blitz, with three governmental agencies announcing a requirement for operators to register in an attempt to eliminate tax evasion.

    The three regulatory bodies – the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the State Taxation Administration (STA) and the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) – issued a notice on "regulating the profit-making behavior of online live broadcasting" that details the changes and requirements to the $30 billion industry. The audience for live-streaming in the Middle Kingdom topped 700 million people last year, according to Statista.

    While the law bans live streamers from selling products via rumor-mongering, self-rewarding or false publicity – such as self-tipping to promote hype and garner real tips – it more pointedly prohibits tax evasion, It's a signal that Beijing is eager to catch the tax revenues associated with variable part-time self-employment.

    Continue reading
  • Dems propose privacy-respecting digital dollar
    ECASH Act calls for Treasury to develop electronic currency, no blockchain required

    House Democrats on Monday plan to introduce a law bill that calls for the development of an electronic version of the US dollar that has the same legal status and privacy expectations as physical currency.

    The bill, titled Electronic Currency and Secure Hardware (ECASH) Act, would direct the US Treasury Department to establish a program to coordinate the development and implementation of e-cash and the technology necessary to support it, such as cryptographic hardware.

    Sponsored by Rep Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Chairman of the Task Force on Financial Technology, and by Rep Jesús "Chuy" García (D-IL), who serves on the Committee on Financial Services, the ECASH Act represents a response to recent calls by the US Federal Reserve and the Biden administration to promote the development of digital assets.

    Continue reading
  • Google opens Play Store to third party payment systems – starting with Spotify
    Did lessons learned from South Korea make it all less scary?

    Google has revealed a shift of policy that means it is inclined to allow third-party party payment systems access to its Play Store.

    The digital dominator announced a pilot in select countries that "will allow a small number of participating developers to offer an additional billing option next to Google Play's billing system."

    Google has already lined up a crash test dummy willing "to explore different implementations of user-choice billing": audio streaming giant Spotify, which will introduce Google Play's billing system alongside its own.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022