Frauds and injustices involving consumers have become a daily component of the news, and the issues involved increasingly complex. Today, interactions with the commercial world aren’t confined to purchasing products like cars, food and clothing – they include the transfer of personal data and they usually involve contracts that are all but impossible to understand. Many consumers are themselves sellers of products and services. Meanwhile, the federal government’s focus on consumer rights has eroded steadily since the 1980s, while the power of multinationals – particularly those that hold our private information – has grown. This series of articles looks at the gaps in our consumer protection laws, regulations and policies, and examines some of the emerging issues that should be on the radar of policy-makers.

Photo: Shutterstock, by Benoit Daoust.