This book looks at two technological advancements in the area of e-commerce, which dramatically seem to change the way consumers shop online. In particular, they automate certain crucial tasks inherent in the ‘shopping’ activity, thereby relieving consumers of having to perform them. These are shopping agents (or comparison tools) and automated marketplaces. It scrutinizes their underlying processes and the way they serve the consumer, thereby highlighting risks and issues associated with their use. The ultimate aim is to ascertain whether the current EU regulatory framework relating to consumer protection, e-commerce, data protection and security adequately addresses the relevant risks and issues, thus affording a ‘safe’ shopping environment to the e-consumer.
2. Information-related risks: bad purchase decisions and frustration of consumer expectations
3. Unreliable transactions and traditional fraud risks
4. Risks relating to data protection (and privacy) on automated marketplaces
5. Risks to data integrity, data authentication and non-repudiation (transactional security)
6. Automated-contract validity and contractual liability in cases of mistaken contracts
7. Defective or damage-causing platform services and damage recoverability