EU: A More Secure Internet will Develop from Proposed Integrated Payment Market
The European Commission is looking at ways to better integrate e-commerce across Europe according to a communication released today. A separate but related Green Paper was released at the launch a broad consultation process with stakeholders to help identify the barriers to a fully integrated and secure payments market across card, internet and mobile payments in Europe.
An EC action plan details proposals for "substantial and measureable improvements in a number of areas" within the e-commerce sector which it will, the EC believes, double the contribution e-commerce and the Internet make to the European economy by 2015.
Areas noted for special attention include:
- Better access to different kinds of online services for consumers across the EU
- Easier ways to buy and pay for products online
- More efficient and affordable delivery of products across Europe
- More transparency on companies and prices on the Internet and better consumer protection
- Better protection against abuses on the Internet
- A better offer of high-speed Internet and better communication infrastructure for more citizens
In relation to better protection against abuses on the Internet the Commission proposes, for example, that it will adopt an initiative on "notice and action" procedures in 2012. "Notice-and-action" procedures refer to rules on removing or blocking of access to illegal content by an online company, after it has received a request to do so. Internet users can submit a notification of illegal content that they have found displayed on the website of an online intermediary (such as a social network, an online vendor or a search engine). To avoid liability, the E-commerce Directive obliges the online intermediary to take action as soon as it becomes aware of the illegal content. Taking action can take the form of takedown (removing content) or blocking (disabling access to content).
A further proposal is to provide an overall strategy for Internet Security in Europe in 2012 that will increase protection against cyber attacks, for instance through the establishment of the European Cybercrime Centre by 2013.
Regarding proposals to 'break down the barriers to an integrated payments environment' several issues are suggested for consideration including:
- Market access and entry for existing and new service providers
- Payment security and data protection
- Transparent and efficient pricing of payment services
- Technical standardisation
- Inter-operability between service providers.
The Commission is requesting responses to the Green Paper entitled, ‘Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments,’ before 11 April 2012 after which the Commission will announce the next steps to be taken before the summer of 2012.
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