Monday, 24 November 2014

Press digest

Mobile banking

The Financial Times Adviser discusses the ongoing plans to regulate on the European level mobile banking (Getting mobile banking working). Currently, the revision of the Payment Services Directive and of the Regulation on Multilateral Interchange Fees is being negotiated among the European institutions. 
On review of the mobile banking industry in the UK conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority see: Mobile Banking and Payments - FCA Industry Review. Important: no evidence of consumer harm was found in the mobile banking and payments area.

Tobacco Products Directive

Another company - Philip Morris International - was granted a right by the English courts to apply for a preliminary ruling in front of the Court of Justice with regards to the interpretation of the Tobacco Products Directive. This time it is the competence of the EU to regulate in this area that is being questioned: the argument is that the Directive does not aim to improve the internal market (e.g. it prohibits menthol even though it's legal in all Member States); that the Directive infringes consumers fundamental rights to information about the products they are choosing (through forcing companies to adopt plain packaging); as well as whether the delegation of power to the Commission to specify certain issue was validly defined (Philip Morris International Granted Right to Challenge EU's Tobacco Products Directive Before the Court of Justicce of the European Union).

Mortgage Credit Directive

Telegraph reports on the uncertainties related to the implementation of the new Mortgage Credit Directive in the UK - who exactly may be seen as consumer and fall under the Directive's scope? "Accidental landlords" - that is persons who became landlords "as a result of circumstance rather than through their own active business decision" will be seen as consumers. Who is that exactly? And what rules shall apply to buy-to-let mortgages? (Would this buy-to-let couple be caught out by new EU rules?)

Privacy online

If you are interested to see which applications and which online tools have what sort of privacy protection, check this data on the Secure Messaging Scorecard (A project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation).

US consumer news (just for fun)

Verizon fights against the Federal Communications Commission plan to introduce net neutrality, threatening to take them to court: Verizon: We Will Sue FCC Again If "Hybrid" Net Neutrality Happens.

Berkeley, California becomes the first American city to introduce a tax on sugary drinks: California City Votes In The Nation's First Soda Tax

Apple is being sued for an equivalent of wiretapping due to users who switched from an iPhone to an Android phone not receiving their iMessages (More Former iPhone Users Suing Apple, Claiming iMessage "Intercepts" Texts Meant for Android Phones).

Federal Trade Commission sues Gerber Products Co. for falsely advertising that its Good Start Gentle formula prevents or reduces the risk of children developing allergies (FTC Sues Gerber For False Advertising Over Claims Its Formula Can Prevent Allergies).

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