World Consumer Rights Day 2024

Fair and Responsible AI for Consumers

Every year on March 15, the consumer movement and other influential actors come together to celebrate World Consumer Rights Day to raise global awareness on consumer rights, protection and empowerment. Consumers International is proud to coordinate the day through a multi-stakeholder approach which unites our 200 Members, international organisations, government, business and civil society. 

This year, Consumers International selected ‘Fair and responsible AI for consumers’ as the theme for World Consumer Rights Day 2024. Throughout the week, we drove expert debate on core consumer concerns amidst the proliferation of AI. We exposed the scale of the issue concerning AI deepfakes, scams and misinformation. We shone a light on the need for solid policy regarding the data used to build AI models. We presented new insights on the consumer experience of generative AI chatbots – the result of a global exercise that 35 of our members participated in. On World Consumer Rights Day itself – Friday 15 March – Members and consumer protection advocates in other sectors undertook campaigns across media, consumer pop-up marketplaces, education in schools, online and in-person events, government dialogue and much more. 

About the theme

Last year, breakthroughs in generative AI took the digital world by storm. Thanks to the release of chatbots that appear to mimic human conversation, millions of consumers are already using generative AI in their daily lives. The technology is set to have an enormous impact, in the way we work, create, communicate, gather information and much more.

There is real opportunity here. Used properly, generative AI could enhance consumer care and improve channels of redress. However, it will also have serious implications for consumer safety and digital fairness. With developments taking place at breakneck speed, we must move quickly to ensure a fair and responsible AI future.

Safeguarding the future of consumer search 


Our campaign honed in on core issues found across AI and with a focus on consumer search. Generative AI chatbots are set to transform the way we search the web. In an era of mis- and dis-information, we believe that consumers have a right to trustworthy, verifiable, and bias-free information. This is a right that AI-powered search may put at risk.

Leaders joined the campaign using the hashtags #GenerativeAIGuardian , #WorldConsumerRightsDay, #WCRD24. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay updated with our work. 

Generative AI Dialogue and Debate Series

During the week of World Consumer Rights Day 2024, 11 - 15 March, we hosted a Generative AI Dialogue and Debate series, with leaders from Which? (UK) Public Citizen (USA), Amazon, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, Hong Kong Consumer Council, the Federal Trade Commission, USA and more. 

We asked tough questions around the pressing consumer concerns generative AI presents and build the foundations for genuine transparency and trust. 

  • What measures are needed to protect consumers against deep fakes and misinformation? 
  • How do we ethically navigate the collection and use of consumer data? 
  • Who is responsible when a person is harmed by generative AI?


Can we trust AI Chatbots? Results revealed from our experiment 

Ahead of March 15 we led an exercise to hone into these issue in AI chatbots that are used in online search. This tested their efforts to protect consumers and explored their impact on consumer trust. We also wanted to fill an important gap within current research – to see that the consumer voice was included within its development. Thirty-five Members of Consumers International from across 19 countries joined the experiment. Our findings showed: 

  1. Chatbots fall short on basic trustworthiness – the likelihood that responses use citations was just 50%.
  2. Basic safeguards vary across chatbots. For example many offered medical advice, despite advising against offering it.
  3. Consumers have limited ability respond to issues. Expert consumer advocates are highly concerned for how consumers could seek redress if there’s an issue.
  4. More inclusivity is needed. We found North American bias in responses, such as brand names and sources being use that are relevant to that region.

Read our news summary
Read Paper One: The consumer experience of generative AI.
Read Paper Two: Our vision for fair and responsible AI for consumers.

A global consumer network calling for action

We have 200 Members in 100 countries around the world working for a world where digital environments and technologies empower and protect consumers – one where innovation benefits the public interest and enables a fairer, safer and more sustainable online marketplace for people and planet. Now, many are focusing their attention to ensure the consumer voice is heard as generative AI becomes ubiquitous. Our snapshot provides a glimpse at some of the ways members celebrated. 

Member Activity Snapshot 

Norwegian Consumer Council published a report looking into the main risks of generative AI for consumers. The report calls for compliance and effective enforcement of existing EU laws, as well as new legislative measures to enhance consumer protection from AI-related risks, with obligations for developers and deployers of generative AI systems.

BEUC (Belgium) is ensuring the consumer voice is heard in AI policymaking, publishing recommendations for the European Commission’s AI Act.

IDEC (Brazil) have called on policymakers to ensure that the transformative potential of AI in healthcare is balanced against potential ethical risks, with strict rules and assessments. 

Consumer Voice (India) is running a social media campaign to educate consumers on the new and heightened risks brought by AI.  

ANEC (Belgium) hosted an important discussion in the week of World Consumer Rights Day, asking what role standards can play in ensuring trustworthy AI products and services for consumers. 

Consumer Grassroots Organisations (Kenya) joined Kenyan consumer leaders on national television to champion ethical AI practices for a just and equitable future. 

ASPEC (Peru) is monitoring the use of AI in healthcare – ensuring consumers retain the right to in-person care 

As well as convening industry stakeholders, Consumer Council Fiji are heading into high schools to lead competitions with the students, encouraging them to explore the ethics of AI  

ALERT Centre (Albania) bringing together ministers and civil society to discuss consumer challenges brought by new technology like AI and digital finance 

ODECU (Chile) are connecting consumers to AI experts through a new podcast series