Canada set to assume ICPEN presidency next week

Canada's Competition Bureau will move to the helm of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) for a year-long term starting July 1, 2020. Josephine Palumbo, Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau's Deceptive Marketing Practices Directorate, will act as ICPEN president.

In remarks made at ICPEN's virtual annual conference recently, the Deputy Commissioner indicated that the Bureau will work to develop a renewed Strategic Plan and explore global best practices for adapting to COVID-19 for investigative and consumer protection that is conducted remotely. The Bureau will also explore artificial intelligence and the challenges it presents for consumer protection including lack of transparency on use of algorithms in online marketing.

The Bureau's term will also focus on truth in advertising and building consumer trust in the marketplace. The Bureau reports increased opportunitites for fraudsters that leaves consumers feeling uncertain and vulnerable to new deceptive marketing practices in the wake of COVID-19 and the growth of the digital economy.

As a reminder, the Bureau has repeatedly re-iterated its commitment to enforce and administer Canada's competition laws in a way that promotes competition and innovation and anticipates and combats new forms of anti-competitive conduct and deceptive marketing practies.

Consumer protection measures to combat fraud and build consumer confidence are vital to a thriving marketplace. Our consumer-focused resources provide information on scams, cybersecurity, misleading advertising, privacy and fraud. We encourage our members to share this information with their customers regularly to educate and build awareness to protect themselves.

The regulatory landscape is constantly changing. The Canadian Marketing Association provides guidance and support to its members on a wide range of topics. Check our site for resources and updates and stay current by subscribing to our Top 5 Picks e-newsletter through MyCMA.

Author: Florentina Stancu-Soare | Senior Manager, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs @CMA

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Tags: competition bureau, artificial intelligence, fraud, consumer protection, deceptive marketing, COVID 19, best practices