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E-commerce - the legal considerations

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E-commerce - the legal considerations There are lots of legal considerations and I've tried to include some of the main ones. Although e-commerce can mean a lot of things, here I've related it to actually selling items on a website (although a lot of the legal considerations would need to be considered even if you were not selling on the web. Data protection considerations The Data Protection Act lays down lots of rules that must be adhered to. If this is a website for a company that is already trading and keeps customer data then they should already be registered with the Information Commissioner but you may need to review what's been registered. The main points you need to consider is that for any data you collect on the site you must: * Deal fairly with the info * Tell the customer what data you collect * Tell them what you are going to do with it * Keep it safe and secure This should be set out in the website's terms and conditions (and you should link to it at the main point where you collect the data) ...read more.


Also links should be more descriptive so can be read out of context...eg avoid "click here" * Partially sighted - is a large text version available * Keyboard or voice only users - how easy is it to navigate your site * Deaf people - pardon...have you got audio only content on there Saying all that however its worth noting that at the moment over 90% of websites don't comply with the DDA and interestingly about 50% of the disability organisations' website don't comply either!! DTI regulations The Department of Trade and Industry has a number of regulations for people wanting to sell over the internet. They include * Must show full name of trader, VAT number, Trade associations (as mentioned in terms & conds above) * Clear pricing including any delivery charges * Must acknowledge receipt of the order asap * Allow facility to check and correct before submit * Printable and saveable terms and conditions of sale Dealing with a web agency If an agency is building your site you need to have a website development agreement in place with them. ...read more.


Will your online campaigns support the offline campaigns - are you promoting the same messages and products? E-commerce - advances in technology Improved connection speeds With broadband being rolled out to more and more homes it's now much more convenient and faster to buy online. With a 56k dial up modem shopping at Tesco online could take longer than waiting for one of the overweight checkout assistants at ASDA. Improved speeds also allow for streaming of online video and downloading of music files (users's of Apple's I-Tunes in America have purchased and downloaded over 50 million tracks - new hardware on the market such as the I-Pod is also encouraging this boom. Improved connectivity between companies More companies are linking up online meaning faster services are available to consumers, eg Credit card applications - credit card companies now link-in in real-time to credit reference agencies meaning a customer can apply for a credit card on the web and be approved within minutes Credit card payments can be validated and authorised on line Price comparison companies - have sprung up allowing users to go to one site and check the best deal across all airlines Improvements in security Website security is constantly being developed (now 128bit). This is improving confidence amongst consumers and encouraging more internet sales. ...read more.

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Response to the question

It's important to understand that the Data Protection Act is not rules, but laws. The website will need to implement the regulation in order for the website to be within the legal requirement. There are eight main principles within the ...

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Response to the question

It's important to understand that the Data Protection Act is not rules, but laws. The website will need to implement the regulation in order for the website to be within the legal requirement. There are eight main principles within the Data Protection Act, and these eight principles should be explained and briefly stated how websites will be able to undertake each of the principles. The report doesn't contain this information.

Level of analysis

The section 'Website Terms And Conditions' is quite good, as this states what website's should undertake in regard to T&C. However the report could include a screenshot of a real example of a website were it has T&C's, and the box which consumer's have to tick before their continue to purchase their product/service. The sentence 'Blind People' mentions the use of screen readers, and the student has touched upon how websites use 'Alt Tags' within their website. The report actually uses the term 'Alt Text'. This area could be improved by writing something on the lines of 'The website could use Alt Tags, to ensure that people with screen readers are able to understand what images are on the website. This works by placing an 'Alt Tag' on each image. This is a short description of each image.'. The above would show an in-depth understanding of how websites can ensure that people with screen readers can view their website with ease.

Quality of writing

The first paragraph is written poorly, as when reading the sentences doesn't make sense. In addition, the report states '(although a lot of the legal considerations', however there is no end bracket and this is missing. This paragraph will need to be re-written. The term 'DDA' isn't explained and all technical terms within the report should be explained. This is due to that the examiner may not understand these, and it's important that the examiner can understand what is being written by the student.

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Reviewed by danielbeal 23/02/2012

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