Businesses often invest time in thinking about how their website ought to look, but can often overlook the fact that their website must comply with legal regulations about the information they provide to website visitors and the information collected about those users. This guide covers some of the issues to consider in order to ensure that your business’ website is operating legally in the UK.
Under the Under the E-Commerce Regulations 2002 (“E-Commerce Regulations”), website owners must provide their name, geographical address and contact details, including an email address through which visitors can contact the owner.
If the website is being operated for a company, charity or other organisation it should give details of: any relevant registration numbers (e.g. a company number) and the location in which the organisation is registered (e.g. England and Wales); any supervisory or regulatory authority it is linked to; any professional bodies, professional titles and professional rules that apply to the organisation; and the VAT number where the business is VAT registered.
If the website is used for selling goods or services to consumers, then the E-Commerce Regulations 2002 and the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013require website operators to inform visitorsprior to the order process of:
For more information about data protection obligations, please see our related Quick Guide which can be found here.
Not all types of cookies need to comply with these requirements. If a cookie is used to remember what goods are in a basket to go to checkout or they’re for security purposes or for the efficiency of the website, then often consent is implied.
For more information about cookies and the associated issues around consent to their usage, please see our Quick Guide on the subject found here.
For more information about IP protection, please see our Quick Guides on this area of the law, which can all be found here.
This issue is often overlooked when dealing with websites, but under the Equality Act 2010, businesses should ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to their website to ensure that disabled people can use them.
What is considered reasonable will be depend upon the size and nature of the relevant business, however businesses should as a minimum aim to ensure that there are no obvious barriers to disabled users; that there is suitable formatting such that the website can be accessed by those with visual impairments; and that the website contains a business accessibility policy statement.
If you require information or assistance in connection with your organisations website then please contact Ben Robson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This note does not contain a full statement of the law and it does not constitute legal advice. Please seek legal advice if you have any questions about the information set out above
Copyright © 2013 - Oury Clark.