Is my website legal?

“Is my website legal?”

More and more business interaction is happening online with businesses selling their goods and services through their websites.

Your website is often the first port of call for customers and people interested in finding out more about your products and services. With the focus being placed on getting customers to browse through their website and to place an order or complete an enquiry form, often businesses overlook the need to ensure their website meets with legal requirements. In doing so they may be placing themselves in a very vulnerable position by breaking the law and opening themselves up to legal challenge.

So what are the essential minimum requirements for ensuring your website complies with the law…

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  1. Data protection and privacy policies – data protection is taken very seriously in the UK. Breach of data protection legislation may result in a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office who may choose to take further action against you and your business. By simply putting in place a data protection and privacy policy you can clearly communicate to website visitors how you will use their data which they submit to you.
  1. Terms of use – these provide website visitors with information and obligations as to how they can and cannot use your website. It should include terms around the use of the web content; use of yours and your business’ intellectual property rights; and your business’ liabilities towards website visitors.
  1. Terms and conditions – these are different to your terms of use. If you supply goods and services via your website then it is of utmost importance that you upload terms and conditions which prescribe your legal obligations in selling those goods and services and your customer’s legal obligations in buying those goods or services.

If you have terms and conditions already, you may need to review them in light of recent changes to consumer law. Read our blog: How often should a business review its legal contracts?

  1. Accessibility – the Equality Act 2010 requires that service providers make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disable persons can access their services. Therefore it is essential that your website complies with equalities legislation. Although there is no prescribed government guidance on how to do this, the Worldwide Web Consortium, which is a web standards membership organisation, has provided guidance and a useful checklist of how you should ensure your website is accessible.
  2. Copyright notices – your web content is automatically copyrighted as long as you can prove that you are the original author. There is not necessarily a requirement for a copyright notice. However what a copyright notice can do is act as a deterrent for potential poachers of your web content.

 

Do not ignore these basic legal requirements for your website. The repercussions could be costly for your business’s finances, brand and reputation.

Contracts4You can draft all of the above legal documents for you and we will ensure it meets with your specific business needs. Or if you have existing documents in place which you think may need reviewing then do get in touch.

© Contracts4You, ‘Is my website legal?’, 2015. Contracts4You retains the copyright and all intellectual property rights in the contents of this blog. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of the contents of this blog without express and written permission from Contracts4You is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Contracts4You with appropriate and specific direction to the original content by way of web links.


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