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The subject of consumer rights historically covers two related areas: issues related to the actual products and services that a company sells to consumers and corporate business practices that directly affect consumers. As part of the evolution of consumer rights and concerns, a third area, spawned in large part by the growth in information processing industries and integrated computing networks, has emerged. This area concerns the use of information about the consumer, including privacy and security of that information. While there is little legislation establishing actual rights of consumers, there is a large body of law dealing with a range of consumer issues, which taken together are often referred to as “consumer protection.”

At its core, a discussion of consumer rights implies that the interactions between ...

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