ADC holds event to launch report on Mercosur e-commerce agreement
The Association for Civil Rights (ADC) presented Mercosur e-commerce agreement: challenges and opportunities through an online meeting held on September 28, with the participation of Alejandro Segarra, ADC’s Director of Strategic Litigation; Cecilia Lerman and Gabriela Szlak, co-authors of the report, and Javier Ruiz, on behalf of the Digital Trade Alliance.
This new publication examines the impact of the Agreement on data protection in the member states and on electronic commerce within the region. It also assesses the context in which the treaty is drawn up, reviews its articles in detail and inspects the current local norms in each of the States Parties.
“This report comes at a time when ADC is placing special emphasis on the pro-consumer agenda within the free trade agreements. This leads us to consider the balance that must exist between the public and private sectors and the task of building a common language between the northern hemisphere and the global south,” said Segarra at the opening of the event.
When giving an outline of the study, Szlack, in turn, indicated that “today it is no longer disputed that data protection and security are major issues in the regulation of e-commerce. ” However, she stressed the need to revise email marketing practices in the region: “Some companies are unaware whether users have given their consent or not.”
Lerman said that agreements such as this one “are too lax, failing to compensate for the asymmetrical relationship between large firms and consumers. They could take a step further to deal with fundamental rights that are affected”.
Finally, Ruiz pointed out that on many occasions “these agreements do include data protection, but the trend is to set minimum standards.” He also referred to e-commerce, stating that “measures to promote online shopping entail the regulation of privacy, data protection and intellectual property, with effects on fundamental rights”.
At the closing of the event, Segarra remarked the importance of “civil society organizations beginning to have a say in these issues.”
To read the report click here.