US Senator endorses CI and global consumer movement
30 Mar 2012
US Senator Richard Blumenthal lent his
support to the global consumer movement recently by calling for
better consumer protection against unfair corporate practices and
proposing a "ninth" consumer
right to privacy in a televised address to the American
The first such formal statement on consumer
rights by a senior politician was exactly 50 years ago, when
on 15 March 1962 US President John F. Kennedy noted that we are all
consumers and that we comprise the largest economic group
"affecting and affected by almost every public and private economic
Blumenthal's address on World
Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) echoed JFK's and found
resonance in this year's WCRD theme: 'Our money, our rights:
Campaigning for real choice in financial services'.
In his address, Blumenthal shared his passion for giving
consumers a voice to confront corporations engaged in
"deceptive and dangerous or abusive practices".
Acknowledging the contribution that the work of CI and its
members make to "encourage consumers to take full advantage of
their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions for
themselves in the marketplace", Blumenthal highlighted the global
relevance of many consumer issues , particularly in relation to the
current global financial crisis, as well as emerging issues
around privacy in the digital age.
Blumenthal proposed a ninth right - the right to personal
privacy - to the 8 consumer rights currently recognised
by the global consumer movement.
According to the Connecticut senator, the digital age has
brought with it a number of new challenges for consumers. One issue
of growing concern is the security of personal information. Policy
makers and the public alike are increasingly alarmed by the
staggering scale of intrusion into private lives - whether by
governments or companies - which is made possible by new
Blumenthal questioned , "why would it be okay for a
company like OnStart to track drivers who cancelled their
subscription and sell that information on their movements to
marketeers?", when in fact "the Supreme Court has just ruled that
it's not okay for the government to track people via GPS in their
car without a warrant".
Blumenthal's address was broadcast live on Cable-Satellite
Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN), the US television channel that
provides running coverage of government proceedings and other
public policy events.
the senate session featuring Richard Blumenthal's address on
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