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BCCP Conference and Policy Forum 2018

June 08, 2018
Time 10:15–16:30
Leibniz AssociationChausseestraße 111, Großer Saal10115Berlin

BCCP Conference and Policy Forum 2018

Topic:Regulatory Challenges in Digital Markets: Trust Online

The tremendous growth of digital transactions has profoundly affected the way we interact, opening vast opportunities to improve our lives. Consumers have benefited from an unprecedented proliferation of new services and products. At the same time, consumers often must process large amounts of imperfect information regarding the products they purchase and services they use. Even more, for many services consumers need to share highly personal information. Being able to both rely on third party information as well as safely share personal data not only requires a well-designed legal framework and active enforcement. Consumers must trust (potentially dominant) platforms, providers of goods and services, as well as individuals they interact with online.

Review and recommendation systems can fill large parts of this need in many commercial transaction contexts. Privacy and data protection regulations intend to strengthen consumers' trust in using digital technologies for an ever-growing set of daily tasks. Will the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deliver this? How can online marketplaces be designed to allow both firms and consumers to benefit maximally? What is the role of consumer trust for the success of the ambitious project to implement the European Digital Single Market? This conference aims to tackle these questions, the interplay between consumer information and trust online, as well as the regulatory challenges in harnessing the power of digital technologies to its fullest extent by facilitating consumer trust and participation online.

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Session Preview

Policy Roundtable: The Digital Single Market and Consumer Trust

The ambitious European Digital Single Market project has tremendous potential to benefit all European consumers. One main aim of the Digital Single Market is to guarantee citizens' access to goods and services across the EU. Trust and security concerns remain an important barrier to such universal trade online. As digital services increasingly permeate daily life, the European Union is implementing the GDPR, a new data protection regulation that is at the forefront of the global privacy debate. Can the GDPR facilitate the level of trust required for digital services to thrive? Have other online consumer protection measures, such as payment protection, succeeded in establishing consumer trust? What are the challenges of transforming into a digital economy and society. Does digitization offer governments the opportunity to become more open and inclusive?

Stacy Feuer
Assistant Director for International Consumer Protection, US Federal Trade Commission

Juhan Lepassaar
Head of Cabinet to Vice President Andrus Ansip, European Commission

Moderated by Ludwig Siegele (Technology Editor, The Economist)

Session 1: User Data Sharing: Incentives and Trust

Online businesses largely rely on the sharing of user-generated data, which allows them to make a profit and enable sophisticated products and services. Yet, users are becoming increasingly wary that their data is at risk of being compromised, legally and illegally, which has led to calls for more responsible data collection, usage, and sharing. This session will discuss two fundamental issues inherent in data sharing. How are the returns from user data collection shared between users and commercial service providers? How could user benefits be improved to incentivize data sharing? Are consumers willing to share their personal information if they do not trust that their data will be protected and used in the manner assured by the service, as exemplified by data breaches such as by Facebook and Cambridge Analytica? What can policy do to reinvigorate beneficial online participation for everyone? Can commitments, like privacy by design, help establish trust in online platforms and the emerging internet of things?

Ari Ezra Waldman
Associate Professor of Law, New York Law School

Glen Weyl
Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research and Yale University

Moderated by Dorothea Kübler (Director of Research Unit Market Behavior, WZB Berlin Social Science Center and Professor of Economics, Technical University Berlin)

Session 2: Reputation and Trust on Online Platforms

The emergence of e-commerce considerably decreased transaction costs. Increased price transparency and product information have enabled consumers to compare and purchase both goods and services more easily. Yet, significant market frictions remain due to a fundamental component of human interaction: trust. This session tackles questions on the role of trust in e-commerce and online interactions: What determines trust online? Can reputation and safety guarantees mitigate lack of trust? How can trust and reputation mechanisms be optimally designed to facilitate trade?

Michael Luca
Lee J. Styslinger III Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Steve Tadelis
Professor of Economics, Business and Public Policy, James J. and Marianne B. Lowrey Chair in Business, University of California, Berkeley

Moderated by Roland Strausz (Professor of Economics, Humboldt University Berlin)