Consumers InternationalConnecting Voices: A role for consumer rights in developing digital society


Consumers International 

November 2017

Consumers International for the Ford Foundation

Digital technology and innovations are bringing many benefits to communities across the globe. They are identifying new solutions to social problems, creating new markets, jobs, providing educational opportunities and catalysing economic growth. Yet progress is uneven and in many developing countries there are still major gaps in consumer access, participation, freedom and security online.

Currently over half of the world’s population does not have access to the internet and only 34 percent of the least developed countries have data protection and cybersecurity laws in place. As digital innovations and services evolve and increasingly become part of everyday lives, ensuring the right protections and foundations are in place will be vital to making sure the full benefits of a strong digital society are felt by all.

This research looks at; how consumer digital issues are presenting themselves in a range of developing countries, the capacity of consumer organisations to tackle these issues and the opportunities for achieving positive change through collaborating with other influential actors including digital rights organisations and processes.

The purpose of the report is to support the development of an agenda that identifies opportunities for synergies in consumer protection and digital rights in developing countries. The findings will inform the work of other international, regional and national organisations and funders.

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