World Consumer Rights Day 2019: Trusted Smart Products

World Consumer Rights Day 2019: Trusted Smart Products

The consumer movement marks 15th March with World Consumer Rights Day every year, as a means of raising global awareness about consumer rights and needs. Celebrating the day is a chance to demand that the rights of all consumers are respected and protected, and to protest against market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights.

World Consumer Rights Day was inspired by President John F Kennedy, who sent a special message to the US Congress on 15th March 1962, in which he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights. He was the first world leader to do so. The consumer movement first marked that date in 1983 and now uses the day every year to mobilise action on important issues and campaigns.

Our theme for World Consumer Rights Day 2019 will be ‘Trusted Smart Products’.

From smart phones to wearable fitness trackers, to voice-activated assistants and smart TVs, many of the products we use are increasingly becoming connected by default.

This World Consumers Rights Day, we want to highlight what consumers want and need from a connected world and how important it is to put them at the heart of the development of these digital products and services.

If you would like to learn more about this year’s campaign and how you can get involved, you can download our public campaign outline and Trusted Smart Products briefing (also available in Spanish, French and Arabic).

You can also download our social media resources in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.

About the theme
Smart products are connected to the internet and receive, collect and send data. Globally, there are currently 23.1 billion smart products in the world, outnumbering people three to one.

As more people come online across the world and our connection to the internet becomes better and faster, smart products will become more of a day-to-day reality for consumers everywhere, marking a major change in the way many consumers interact with products and services.

The emergence of smart technology brings many opportunities for consumers; access to new services, more responsive products, greater convenience and choice. There are, however, some significant causes for concern: lack of security, privacy and meaningful choice over how we use them, as well as a lack of clarity about who is responsible when things go wrong.

There are also issues around lack of access, with millions of people globally locked out of this new technology by overly high data charges.

What can you do?
World Consumer Rights Day is our chance to deliver real impact for consumers and remind the world about the importance of observing and enforcing consumer rights. We want to raise awareness around the importance of this year’s theme by engaging more people, in more activities, in more countries than ever before.

We will have a range of social media activities you can take part in for the day. You can join our call for trusted smart products by using the #BetterDigitalWorld hashtag. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest news and announcements about the day.

If you want to find out more about the World Consumer Rights Day 2019 campaign or share information about your plans for the day, you can email our dedicated team at [email protected]


Consumers International is the membership organisation for consumer groups around the world. Founded on 1 April 1960, it has over 250 member organisations in 120 countries. Its head office is based in London, England, with regional offices in Latin America, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

Consumers International is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, company number 04337865 and registered charity number 1122155.

The organisation was first established in 1960 as the International Organisation of Consumers Unions (IOCU) by national consumer organisations who wanted to create cross-border campaigns and share knowledge.

IOCU was founded by Elizabeth Schadee, who would later chair the board of the Netherlands’ Consumentenbond, and Caspar Brook, who was the first director of the United Kingdom’s Consumers’ Association.[1] The two proposed an international conference to plan for consumer product testing organisations worldwide to work more closely together.[1] The United States organization Consumers Union provided US$10,000 at the request of Colston Warne to help fund the event.

In January 1960, these three organisations sponsored the First International Conference on Consumer Testing in The Hague. Thirty-four people representing seventeen consumer organisations in fourteen countries attended to discuss product testing and founding the International Organisation of Consumers Unions as an international organisation. Belgium’s Association des Consommateurs and the Australian Consumers’ Association joined the three conference sponsors as the five founding organisations who became the international organisation’s initial council.

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