Home / IT / Telecom / Tech / Gaps exist in digital consumer and data protection laws in Sri Lanka

Gaps exist in digital consumer and data protection laws in Sri Lanka


Comments / 225 Views / Monday, 20 March 2017 00:03


IN-2.1

Takas CEO Lahiru Pathmalal addressing the gathering as (from left) Digital Mobility Solutions Lanka CEO Jiffrey Zulfer, President’s Counsel, former SEC Chairman Dr. Dayanath Jayasuriya, IPS Research Assistant Vishvanathan Subramanian and Attorney-at-Law Thishya Weragoda look on

 

  • Experts discuss consumer rights in the digital age at forum organised by IPS

Discussing the rapidly changing digital commercial environment in Sri Lanka, experts pointed out that gaps still exist in the current laws that regulate consumer rights and data protection in mobile and online platforms. 

Thishya Weragoda, Attorney at Law of the Supreme Court Sri Lanka pointed out that the Consumer Affairs Authority Act of Sri Lanka is not adequate as a dispute resolution mechanism in the current digital era where transactions take place in online trading platforms. He highlighted the need for umbrella organisations that unify traders and consumers of online platforms to resolve commercial disputes internally. He also noted that Sri Lanka lacked a proper and fair mechanism to protect online traders’ rights.

These observations were made at a forum organised by the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) to mark the 34th World Consumer Rights Day on Wednesday (15) at the IPS Auditorium. The forum centred on the theme ‘Consumer Rights in the Digital Age’ and saw the participation of experts in the field, digital consumers, entrepreneurs and stakeholders. 

IPS Deputy Director Dr. Dushni Weerakoon delivered the welcome address, highlighting the prevalence of e-commerce in Sri Lanka and its benefits and risks, and noting that 30% of the Sri Lankan population is connected to the internet today. 

IN-2.2

IPS Deputy Director Dr. Dushni Weerakoon delivering the welcome address

 

IN-2.3

The keynote address was delivered by Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) Legal Adviser Jayantha Fernando

 

IN-2.4

The audience at the forum

The keynote address was delivered by Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) Legal Adviser Jayantha Fernando. His speech focused on the ‘Legal Regime for Consumers in the Digital Age’, especially addressing issues such as gaps in the Electronics Transaction Act No. 19 of 2006, cybercrime and security and data protection in the e-world. Noting that legal measures to protect consumers in the digital age could be strengthened, Fernando highlighted the need for a comprehensive data protection regime with an institutional framework. 

Meanwhile, speaking from the vendors’ point of view, Takas Ltd. CEO Lahiru Pathmalal highlighted the challenges in serving consumers in the digital age. Lack of trust of consumers in online transactions, cultural and language barriers, and regulatory hurdles were some of the issues that were discussed during his presentation. 

The other panellists were President’s Counsel, former Chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Dr. Dayanath Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka Housewives Association President Suhaila Hussain, Digital Mobility Solutions Lanka CEO Jiffrey Zulfer, as well as Thishya Weragoda. Their presentations highlighted many salient aspects of digital consumerism in Sri Lanka such as the rights of consumers, the rights of traders, the needs of consumers in the e-market, entrepreneurship to expand e-commerce in Sri Lanka and the changing regulatory landscape for consumer protection in the digital era. 

The panel discussion was chaired by IPS Research Assistant Vishvanathan Subramanian. A lively Q&A session followed the panel discussion. 


Share This Article


COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Govt. needs to move on post-GSP+ to excite the electorate

28 April 2017

The GSP+ going through is no doubt a big victory for Sri Lanka given the many challenges the Government has been facing in the last few months and the negativity surrounding it. The Prime Minister needs to be congratulated for his efforts to resto...


The Executive Presidency: Who wants it abolished and why?

28 April 2017

Right of reply to Shyamon Jayasinghe   In public as in private life, it is important to know when someone is attempting to scam you. The question then is “what’s his game?” or, as the famous line in British j...


Are we being responsible citizens? The story of the green bag

28 April 2017

Due to the amount of attention the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse has given to garbage management and waste reduction, I thought this is a good time to relate the following.  It was way back in 2006 when I was visiting a Whole Foods st...


What has happened to Ceylon and Ceylonese?

28 April 2017

  nWhat though the spicy breezesBlow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle; Though every prospect pleases, And only man is vile Anglican Bishop Reginald Heber – 18th Century   The British...


Columnists More