With the rise of online retail, the government has been slow to catch up to the changing pace of the internet, which often invites a lot of problems. US Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) has applauded a recent bill that protects consumers from counterfeit, stolen products online.
The Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers (INFORM Consumers) Act, was passed by the United States House and was created to direct online marketplaces to verify the identity of high-volume third-party sellers of consumer products.
Requiring authentication of the identity of these online sellers will help deter organized retail crime rings that seek to sell stolen or counterfeit goods online. The bill will also benefit consumers by providing them with basic identification and contact information for high-volume third-party sellers.
"This pro-consumer legislation enacts uniform, nationwide rules to promote safety, increase transparency, and provide greater accountability for online sales. It will provide a layer of enhanced protections for consumers from stolen and counterfeit goods without adding undue burdens on small mom-and-pop businesses," said Congressman Gus Bilirakis. "This bill is a win-win for consumers and legitimate businesses in the online marketplace."
The bill was also a bipartisan effort, as Bilirakis joined US Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in approving the legislation. Schakowsky is a ranking member of Congress and the Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
"For too long, criminals have raked in profits by selling dangerous, counterfeit, and stolen products online. Consumers deserve to shop with the peace of mind that they get what they pay for. Today, we took a stand for consumers and said enough is enough," said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. "The INFORM Consumers Act, which I introduced with my friend Rep. Gus Bilirakis, passed the House with bipartisan support, and will protect consumers and legitimate businesses by holding online marketplaces accountable. We must protect Americans online. I urge the Senate to swiftly pass this bill."
Groups from outside the government such as the AFL-CIO and Fraternal Order of Police, all endorsed the passage of this bill, proving the truly unified push for the INFORM Act.