Trusted smart products: the right of every Consumer

Hyderabad: World Consumer Rights Day, every year on the 15th of March, is an occasion for celebration and solidarity within the international consumer movement. It is observed for promoting basic rights of all consumers, demanding that those rights are respected and protected, and protesting about market abuses and social injustices which undermine them.

On the occasion of World Consumer Day, a workshop was organized on Friday, at Civil Supplies Bhavan here. Telangana Consumer Affairs Secretary Akun Sabharwal said that every year, the consumer movement marks this day with a specific theme. This year theme is “Trusted Smart Products.” Today smart products, smart phones, smart TV, smart cards, smart houses, etc., everywhere smart digital products, services usage grown to a very large extent all over the globe. But, consumer privacy, safety, security is major concern technically, market based.

The use of the smart product is the need for the future. There exist a growing number of smart products that can offer tailored solutions for people with disabilities. A day is not far when smart watches for people with sight loss will vibrate when the user receives an email and then translate into Braille the email on the watch face or it could read out the email to the person. Similarly smart light bulbs connected to a door bell or a phone could alert a deaf person when the phone is ringing or when someone is at the door, he said.

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The possibilities are limitless. It is for human imagination to find uses of devices which can interact with each other and with the user to make his life efficient and easy.
As with any good thing, there are certain challenges with respect to the ability of products to connect and share with the user and other devices. The significant causes of concern include lack of security and privacy; and meaningful choice over how we use them. There is also need for improved clarity about who is responsible when things go wrong.

A lack of transparency can also create fear in the minds of the consumers. Lack of pre purchase information of how devices collect and use data, may lead to personal information being collected used and disclosed, Sabharwal said.


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