Every business now has a website and for many, their website is their primary means of interacting with their customers. However, according to recent figures, more than 90% of websites in the UK are breaking at least one law.
There a number of reasons for this. The laws that apply specifically to websites have been forced to develop as fast as the internet. This has left us with a combination of new law, adapted law and older laws that have been interpreted in a modern way to make them fit for purpose. This has made it incredibly difficult for both website owners and website developers to keep up to date with all of the current requirements at any given time.
To compound matters, there are a wide range of legal requirements you’ll need to comply with, and other points to consider in relation to your business. These include:
- Making sure you have displayed all of the relevant company and contact information on both your site and all associated email communications
- Making sure your site is fully compliant with current consumer and e-commerce law including the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, not to mention their successors should things change when the UK leaves the European Union
- Making sure your terms and conditions support your business model. For example, are your return and refund policies clearly articulated and if you are selling direct from your site, are you compliant with the current distance selling regulations?
- Making sure any third party links on (or to) your site are accounted for in your terms and conditions, and/or your agreement with the relevant third party
- Making sure the ownership of the copyright in your site is clearly displayed and that all of your content is fully protected against misuse or imitation (and that your content doesn’t infringe anyone else’s copyright)
- Making sure none of the copy on or claims made by your website could be considered misleading, libellous or defamatory
- Making sure your domain name registration is complete and up-to date
- Making sure you have up-to-date notices relating to the technology you’re using (most specifically cookies) and outlining how you will adhere to the latest data protection regulations
Making sure you meet the requirements of wider workplace laws like The Disability Discrimination Act
These are only some of the issues you should consider if you are about to launch a new website or feel your existing website may be in need of updating to ensure it is fully legally compliant.