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What legislation controls e-commerce?

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There is a lot of legislation that governs a business operating on the internet. Some of which is based on European Union (EU) legislation. The following is a list of some important legislation that controls e-commerce:

  • The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 – Among other things it states the information that must be given to consumers in online transactions.
  • The Financial Services (Distance Marketing) Regulations 2004 – It implements rules on the information that must be given to consumers when financial services are sold at a distance.
  • The Privacy and Electronic Communication (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 – It sits alongside the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). It controls things such as the use of cookies, location data, opt-in rules for email and call marketing, and unsolicited marketing.
  • The GDPR – Implemented into UK law with the Data Protection Act 2018. It controls the processing of all personal data which includes, names, addresses, and payment details. Introduces new obligations on data controllers and data processors. It significantly raised the maximum fines for breaches.
  • The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 – It requires traders to provide certain information to consumers in relation to the contracts held between them.
  • The Consumer Rights Act 2015 – It has consolidated consumer law and applies to all businesses whether they provide goods or services. It also implemented consumer law relating to digital content for the first time.
  • The Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharge) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/3110) amended by the Payment Services Regulations 2017 – It prohibits surcharges based on the consumers choice of payment method such as, debit card, credit card, or e-money.
  • The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 amended with the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/870) – It regulates online advertising and governs commercial communication or promotions to consumers. Goes alongside the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008.
  • The Network and Information Systems Regulations 2018 – It requires digital service providers which are organisations that provide marketplaces, online search engines and cloud computing services to apply adequate cybersecurity measures. They must also report incidents that have a significant impact on digital services.
  • Regulation (EU) 2017/1128 and the Portability of Online Content Services Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/249) – Portability regulations that relate to the cross-border portability of online content services. Requires online service providers of paid-for content to allow its subscribers to portable online content to access and use the service when temporarily in another EU member state, without additional charges.
  • Regulation (EU) 2018/302 and the Geo-blocking (Enforcement) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/1153) – It prohibits discrimination against consumers based on their geographical location, nationality, or place of residence when buying goods or services. In limited cases it also prohibits the same discrimination against businesses.
  • Regulation (EU) 2018/644 – It concerns cross-border parcel delivery services. It has created a transparency system for tariffs, and it requires traders to provide certain information on delivery options and complaint handling procedures.
  • The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 (as amended) – It established a system for accredited alternative dispute resolution (ADR) bodies dealing with small consumer claims. It also requires traders to provide certain information to consumers about ADR.
  • The Consumer Protection Co-operation Regulations 2006 – It gives national consumer protection authorities in the EU greater powers to deal with cross-border breaches of consumer protection laws.
  • The Provision of Service Regulations 2009 – It sets out disclosure requirements and freedom of establishment for providers from another EU member state.

Additionally, there is the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) codes of practice that apply to advertising. Financial services legislation which applies to the provision of financial products and services. There are also criminal and defamation laws that apply to online activity.

There is plenty of law to be aware of when operating a business online. At Lawdit Stay Legal we have created a one stop shop solution to keep your business on the right side of the law. Our packages at different price points offer something for every business. We will also put legal safeguards in place to assist and protect you and your business if any dispute were to arise. With a free initial consultation there is no need to delay, so book today!

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