The Internet of Things
More and more of the things we surround ourselves with are connected to the internet in some way. Connected products include everything from smart phones and smart toys, wearable technology such as fitness trackers and GPS watches, to smart home products such as thermostats, alarm systems and other forms of connected gadgets and services.
When such products are sold to consumers, consumer protection regulations apply.
What information must the consumer receive through marketing?
Connected products are often developed for the purpose of being able to meet practical needs in the consumers’ everyday lives and are marketed as such. It is important that the consumer has a correct picture of the product’s functionality and limitations. The consumer must be given adequate information that does not oversell, play on fear or exploit the consumers’ need to feel secure.
For connected products, some information is particularly important to include in all marketing, including:
- The main characteristics of the product or service
- The total price
- The length of the contract and, if relevant, the minimum lock-in period
What about the contract terms and conditions?
If you offer a connected gadget or service, you will normally need contract terms and conditions. It is your job to ensure that the contract terms and conditions include statutory information and that they are not unfair. Read our guidelines on digital terms and conditions here . Certain issues relating to terms and conditions for connected products and services are particularly relevant. Read here for advice on these issues.
What do we do?
The Consumer Authority may intervene in cases of violations of the consumer protection law that we supervise. We also give advice to traders to prevent consumer problems and disputes. At the same time, our work includes increasing the authorities’ knowledge, and cooperating with other supervisory authorities on e.g. protection of privacy and data security. As in all developing markets, we also engage in international cooperation.
We would like to hear from interest organisations and the industry about the challenges connected products create between traders and consumers. See staff contact information below.