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Harvard Law School

Business Law – The World’s Gone E-Mad

It has been researched that around 50% of businesses in the United Kingdom now have a networked system and access to shared files and information. As well as this, a huge chuck of businesses that have a website to advertise their goods and services take payments online. It is a brilliant turn for IT and telecoms industry, and therefore should result in great prospects for businesses themselves as marketing and advertising is increasing greatly. However there is always a downfall. The enhancement in efficiency, increase in service levels and decreasing in costs may amount to nothing if the business does not have the right contracts or procedures in place to then go on and protect itself.
If company employees have access to emails, then a company should make a company email and internet policy that will be known to all staff and potentially included in their employment contracts to reinforce the provisions of the policy. Network systems can be quite expensive, so it is important to make sure that there are the appropriate contractual agreements put in action to protect the company’s interests. It will need to be discussed within the company about software licenses as you may be liable for new license fees if more and more employees gain access to the software. Data protection will also be an issue if the company has not ensured sufficient secure storage of personal and client records has been adopted. If the company has a website, even a brochure advertising the website will need to meet all the legal requirements, such as including a site disclaimer which will cover the company against any liability. It is also important to provide clearly on the website the companies data protection policy, and terms and conditions as well as returning goods policy.
If a company sells services or goods over the internet, a company is bound by the small print or terms and conditions just like as if it were on the back of an order form. Generally websites have the terms and conditions at the bottom of the page at the click of a button, which actually means that anyone buying anything on that site will not have to abide by the terms and conditions. However if the order form on the website states the words ‘sold subject to the terms which you read if you click here’ and then give you the option to click to confirm that you have read them. This will mean that the website owner or company will then be covered if there are any problems that arise.…