National Consumer Day, Dr Megawati Simanjuntak Discusses the Challenges of Consumer Protection in the Digital Age

April 20 is commemorated as National Consumer Day, which marks the beginning of Indonesia enacting the Consumer Protection Law (UUPK) Number 8 of 1999, or to be precise on April 20, 1999. This means that it has been 22 years since Indonesia adopted and implemented laws regulating how the relationship works. between business actors and consumers.

However, in reality, the consumer is not yet the 'king' as it has been. There are still many incidents that violate consumer rights by business actors. What is more concerning is that consumers themselves are not aware that their rights are being violated.

On the other hand, there are still many business actors who are not responsible and take advantage of consumers' ignorance of their rights. The government has also not been optimal in making policies and regulations that are in favor of consumers and in their supervision.

Indonesia's low Consumer Empowerment Index (IKK) is a reflection of the still weak consumer protection in Indonesia. In 2020, Indonesia's IKK only reached 49.07 on a scale of 0-100, which is lower than the European Union index in 2011 which had reached 51.31, Malaysia in 2013 reached 56.9 and South Korea in 2018 which had reached 65.5.

"Of course, the PR (Homework) is big for the government and consumer protection agencies in Indonesia to be more able to empower consumers. Empowered consumers are prosperous consumers. This consumer group will be more confident in transacting with business actors and will tend to buy more, so that it will contribute to economic growth, "said Dr. Megawati Simanjuntk, IPB University Lecturer from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (IKK), Faculty of Human Ecology.

According to him, the challenge of consumer protection is currently increasingly complex with an integrated world economy and increasingly advanced information technology. Consumers around the world are experiencing rapid changes where digital transformation provides new technologies, business models, transactions, and a variety of innovative goods and services. Transactions of goods across countries are getting higher or even borderless.

Consumers will be increasingly free to own goods according to their choice, however asymmetry of information between consumers and business actors will have a negative impact on consumers. The increasing complexity of the online environment makes consumers more vulnerable to various risks that can affect the ability of consumers to participate effectively in digital transformation.

“The fast digital transformation demands adjustment of policies related to consumer protection. For this reason, the government must strengthen consumer confidence in transactions via electronic systems (e-commerce) through policies and regulations that favor consumer interests. In addition, to speed up dispute resolution if there are problems between consumers and business actors including for cross-border transactions, the government needs to immediately develop Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), "he said.

Finally, the Consumer Protection Law number 8 of 1999, which is 22 years old and on April 20 commemorating its establishment as consumer day, needs to be amended immediately in order to adapt to changes in the trading transaction model that is developing and taking place dynamically. Happy National Consumer Day, Empowered Consumers, Restore the Nation's Economy. (**/Zul) (IAAS/SYA)

Published Date : 20-Apr-2021

Resource Person : Dr Megawati Simanjuntak

Keyword : National Consumer Day, Department of IKK, Fema, IPB University