Technology / 01.16.20
EU Takes Aim at Ticket Bots, Data Harvesters
International Business Times (01/07/20) Burleigh, Marc
European countries have started introducing tougher laws for online operators who harvest personal data on consumers or use bots to buy up event tickets in bulk. A European Union (EU) directive will be deployed in each bloc country within the next two years, with consumer protection rules designed to crack down on "rogue traders and online tricksters," according to EU Commissioner Vera Jourova. The directive's mandates include barring traders from using bots to purchase thousands of event tickets for resale at inflated prices; alerting consumers when the price they are given online is based on their browsing patterns, so they know that it might be higher than that offered to someone else on the same website; and prohibiting traders from posting bogus consumer reviews on their sites. The directive also requires that consumers are apprised of how search results in online marketplaces and price-comparison sites are ranked, including whether the top results they view were paid for by merchants. In addition, sites must offer "free" services informing consumers about what personal data is being collected and how it is used, and allow cancellation of online contracts within two weeks. "Breaking EU consumer rules on large scale may cost a company a big fine of at least 4% of annual turnover," warned EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders. "This will be a sufficiently dissuasive and effective penalty to prevent dishonest traders from cheating."
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Tags: Bots , Regulations , News