The Ministry of Labour and the Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) held a press briefing on Monday to announce plans to recognize World Consumer Rights Week. Pictured from left: Ricardo Deveaux, Executive Director; Machelle Carroll, Communications and Operations Manager; Jade Sparks, Business Operations Manager, Kraven Bahamas and Lavade Darling, Research Manager. (Photo credit: Consumer Protection Commission)

(Nassau, The Bahamas) — World Consumer Rights Week is being celebrated in The Bahamas from Monday, March 11 to Friday, March 15, 2019 to the theme “Trusted Smart Products”.

The Ministry of Labour and the Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) held a press conference to announce plans to recognize the week on Monday.

Ricardo Deveaux, Executive Director, CPC, said World Consumer Rights Day 2019 will highlight what consumers want and need from a “connected” world and how important it is to put them at the heart of the development of digital products and services.

“From smart phones and meters to wearable fitness trackers, voice-activated assistants, smart TV’s and smart security systems, apps usage and privacy, many of the products we use are increasingly becoming connected by default,” said Mr. Deveaux.

The Ministry of Labour Triad Group, which includes CPC, Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality and Consumer Affairs Unit (Price Control) have teamed up with stakeholders including the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority, the Data Commission, Bahamas Power and Light, Water and Sewerage Corporation, BTC, Aliv, Security Systems International and Kraven Bahamas. These entities will work in conjunction to exhibit various smart products and services during the week.

“We understand what consumers want and need from a connected world and will continue to emphasize the importance of consumers having access to digital products and services that they can trust,” said Mr. Deveaux.

Lavade Darling, Research Officer, CPC noted that the international movement has been focusing on the digital revolution, digital and smart products for the past three years. He said the major concern of smart products is that they are connected by default.

“Your smart TV, watch, phone automatically connect to the internet. Not only are they connected to the internet, they are talking to one another. It is called the internet of things. The concern is really about data security. Who are they talking about? Who is your information being shared with? That is the major consumer protection issue when you are talking about data protection – security of your data.

“Your data belongs to you. That is your personal information. Smart phones have your digital, financial and personal information stored on your smart products.

“The threat begins when a hacker hacks into your smart watch because it does not have the security mechanism of your smart phone but because that watch is connected to the other connected items in your home, it presents a possible security breach or security threat and that is what the international movement is concerned about.”

Mr. Darling noted that the Office of the Data Commission will authoritatively address this year’s theme during the Exhibition.

Jade Sparks, Business Operations Manager, announced Kraven Bahamas’ participation. She said Kraven Bahamas is a food and beverage delivery app that will make ordering food more convenient.

Among the events to highlight Consumer Week:

12th – Presentations to L. W. Young Junior High School, Temple Christian High School, Doris Johnson Senior High School, and R. M. Bailey Senior High School

13 – Official Opening Ceremony and Exhibition, 10 a.m. at the Mall at Marathon, Food Court by the Hon. Dion Foulkes, Minister of Labour

13-15 – Exhibition at the Mall at Marathon.

15 – Official Closing Ceremony in Freeport, Grand Bahama


By: Kathryn Campbell