An interesting article in Newsweek on food consumption in the EU, health concerns as well as environmental issues related to our eating habits: Why Europeans Should Be Paying More for Their Food.
Forbes addresses the opposition of European consumers supported by the American lobby toward the newly agreed on EU plans to cap interchange fees for electronic payment transactions. Apparently, similar laws previously adopted in the US didn't lead to any savings for the consumers but only contributed to raising products' prices: EU's Plan To Implement Interchange Fee Caps Will Raise Costs for Consumers. Interestingly, BEUC supports the change: EU deal struck to curb card transaction fees.
The European Banking Authority published its guidelines on the security of Internet payments in December 2014 (see here) that are to apply at the latest as of 1st of August 2015. Payment Service Providers will have to among other strengthen the consumer authentication process online to prevent fraud. Guidelines to strengthen requirements for the security of internet payments.
Energy efficiency of household appliances
New EU rules on how to save energy on the consumption and use of household appliances started binding as of 1 January. These rules require that household appliances switch to a stand by mode, requiring lower energy consumption after a short period of inactivity. The average saving on electricity per year for a household should amount to ca 30 GBP. E.g.: Tepid coffee anyone?..., Smart TVs will have to switch themselves OFF overnight... .
Apple has adopted its terms and conditions for European consumers that fall in line with the Consumer Rights Directive. Contrary to customers e.g. in the US, European consumers of e.g. iTunes are granted the 14-day right of withdrawal from a digital purchase, except when they purchase digital gift cards that have been redeemed in this period. E.g.: Apple gives EU consumers refund option for apps, music. While the Directive allows for already consumed digital content to be excluded from the application of the right of withdrawal Apple doesn't seem to introduce such a distinction. Apple's Lenient Return Policy in Europe for Digital Purchases Draws Ire of Developers.