WASHINGTON— In response to the INFORM Act taking effect today, Becca Trate, policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation, issued the following statement:
The INFORM Act will certainly help combat counterfeiters, but it’s not a silver bullet. The law is only a step in the right direction.
The INFORM Act will stop counterfeit goods from proliferating in online marketplaces by helping to verify the identities of high-volume sellers. In addition to increasing transparency and communication between online marketplaces, law enforcement agencies, and retailers, the law empowers consumers to exercise caution and report suspicious sellers and activity.
But to stop counterfeiters in their tracks, policymakers should do more. Counterfeiter networks are highly organized and move quickly across platforms to avoid detection. To address this continued problem, Congress should direct Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to establish a public-private partnership between law enforcement, online marketplaces, and brand sellers to create a shared data repository, develop industry standards, and conduct research on proactive measures to identify and disrupt counterfeiter networks.
For more on this issue, see:
- Becca Trate and Daniel Castro, “Best Practices to Combat Online Sale of Counterfeits in the EU and US” (Center for Data Innovation, 2022)
- Becca Trate, “Demonizing Data Collection Is the Wrong Way to Address Legitimate Concerns About Chinese E-commerce Apps” (Center for Data Innovation, 2023)
- Sujai Shivakumar, “How Data-Sharing Partnerships Can Thwart Counterfeits on Online Marketplaces” (Center for Data Innovation, 2021)