Dubai: UAE’s updated Consumer Protection Law aims to revamp and repeal the old laws. As the country becomes one of the fastest growing online shopping markets, the new law seeks to protect consumers from the industry practice of using personal data for marketing and promotion.
What are the key takeaways?
Data protection is now a consumer right and is now a new supplier obligation under the Consumer Protection Law to protect consumers’ privacy and data security and to avoid using their data and information for marketing and promotion.
The law now applies to all e-commerce providers registered in the UAE which are now required to provide details of their registration, products and other relevant information to consumers and the authorities in the UAE.
Suppliers are under an obligation to provide customers with advertisements and contracts in Arabic; however, these can be accompanied by versions in any other language as the supplier deems necessary.
Stricter penalties have been imposed on suppliers who breach provisions of the Consumer Protection Law and suppliers can be liable for fines starting from Dh10,000 rising up to Dh2 million along with an imprisonment term for breaches of certain obligations contained in the Consumer Protection Law.
How is this different?
The old law did include a wide definition of a ‘supplier’, but the notion of an e-commerce service provider was not explicitly provided. The Consumer Protection Law has expanded its application and now applies to all goods and services provided within the UAE (including any of its free zones) as well as e- commerce service providers which are registered in the UAE.
“The Consumer Protection Law aims to protect the consumers from the risks that have arisen as a result of the growing e-commerce markets in the UAE and the increased reliance on such e-commerce platforms that has resulted due to the global pandemic,” said Baker Mckenzie Habib Al Mulla in a report.
Most notably, and for the first time, the Consumer Protection Law has introduced the concept of protecting consumer’s privacy and data security and the unauthorised use of consumers’ data.
“In light of this right, businesses in the UAE may need to invest in adequate systems to ensure compliance and to avoid breach of this consumer right,” said the report.