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Old 06-29-2018
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Default Amazon and eBay sign a deal to tackle dangerous and dodgy goods

Guns. Drugs. Porn. Faulty electronics. Nearly anything and everything can be sold and bought online, however illegal and unsafe it might be. That’s why Alibaba, Amazon, eBay and Rakuten – four of the world's biggest online retailers – have just signed a Product Safety Pledge with the European Commission in a bid to work together and fight unscrupulous traders.

The pledge is based on a set of ‘suggested operational measures’ that the Commission published last March, as a test to gauge whether existing legislation needs beefing up or could do its job as is. According to Russell Williamson, a senior associate at law firm Bird and Bird, this is an unprecedented way for the EC to operate. “It's the first time I've seen the Commission get these types of commitments in a public way from very large and influential online retailers,” he says.

The agreement would apply to all illegal products – including, according to the EC, “terrorist content, incitement to hatred and violence, child sexual abuse material, counterfeit products and copyright infringement”.

Williamson believes that the pledge will be the most effective when it has to deal with recalled products, especially very popular ones, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 7's fire hazard battery, or Toyota cars sold in 2010, which suffered from a fault that made them suddenly accelerate.

The recall process is often slow, because manufacturers have to report the error to distributors, rather than the distributors taking independent action. So the pledge, Williamson says, should speed things up.

At the illegal end, the sale of dubious products has been regulated since 2000, based on the European e-Commerce Directive. Article 14 gives Amazon and its frenemies protection against people using its services for illegal ends, as long as the online retailers are not directly involved, and remove or disable access to the offending products or information.

The problem with this legislation is that there is no specified time limit for the provider of the “information society service” to actually respond to dodgy uses, other than the emotive but imprecise term “expeditiously”. The new agreement rectifies this, making sure that government requests are dealt with in two days, and user reports in five days.
There are also pledges to curb repeat uploadings of the same prohibited listings after the first takedown, and to have a contact point for the authorities of EU member states to notify them of items in breach of regulations and cooperate in finding the source of these objects if necessary.

Williamson believes that this pledge is a hint at what’s to come. “New legislation could be something to be on the look-out for," he says. "They have been looking to replace or update the General Product Safety Directive [the current piece of relevant law which was passed in 2001] but other than some proposals a couple of years ago, nothing's been done.” He also believes that this is part of an effort to put “more emphasis and requirements on distributors rather than just producers”, in a similar way to how the EC regards social networks like Facebook with greater scrutiny because of the influence they wield.

Of course, this is all just a pledge. It is not legally-binding in any way, so the worst thing that could happen for one of the four signatories is bad PR if it were to be found that it would not keep to its promises during one of the planned half-yearly reviews. All the same, it’s hopefully good news for consumers that they will get an easier ride through customer support if one of their purchases decides to fall apart, suddenly speeds up or spontaneously combusts.
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Old 06-29-2018
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Default Re: Amazon and eBay sign a deal to tackle dangerous and dodgy goods

I feel like they should have been doing all that already...
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Old 06-29-2018
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Default Re: Amazon and eBay sign a deal to tackle dangerous and dodgy goods

What's wrong with porn?
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Old 06-29-2018
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Default Re: Amazon and eBay sign a deal to tackle dangerous and dodgy goods

I now pray and wish the EU will collapse. Enough with this political bloc and its unending regulations already.
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Old 06-29-2018
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Default Re: Amazon and eBay sign a deal to tackle dangerous and dodgy goods

Quote:
Originally Posted by dachilla View Post
What's wrong with porn?


Nothing at all is wrong with porn. The true problem lies in the heart of a political bloc that is obsessed with banning and regulating everything.
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Old 06-29-2018
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Default Re: Amazon and eBay sign a deal to tackle dangerous and dodgy goods

I feel like there are already measures in place to deal with all this, but a lack of emphasis. I guess this regulation is merely going to emphasise on its importance.
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Old 06-29-2018
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Default Re: Amazon and eBay sign a deal to tackle dangerous and dodgy goods

Is it just for Europe though?

As everyone said, I feel like they are already doing something like this on their own for a long time.
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