Open Evidence, in consortium with The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Schlesinger Group, and BrainSigns, leads a new behavioural study on unfair commercial practices in the digital environment for the European Commission (DG JUST). The consortium will provide evidence base needed to identify potential problematic B2C online commercial practices and to assess their impact on the economic behaviour of consumers. The methodology used will include an online experiment which will, on one side, test the impact of commercial practices, and on the other side, test the effectiveness of possible remedies. In addition, the preparatory phase of the project will include a literature review, in-depth interviews and a digital ethnography.

Within the current digital transformation, the so-called “data economy” has become a major source of growth and innovation with data being deemed as the “oil of the 21st century”. During the last decade, the advances in the application of Artificial Intelligence and the increasing availability of data, have enabled online platforms and traders to refine a wide variety of personalised practices that rely on the possibility of tracking and profiling consumer behaviours. These commercial practices pose new risks in terms of consumers being subjected to new of forms persuasion that in some cases are close to outright manipulation.