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Legal, Ethical, And Regulatory Paper

1193 words - 5 pages

IntroductionBusiness-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) websites face legal, ethical, and regulatory concerns just as traditional brick-and-mortar establishments do. Although both B2C and B2B sites share similarities in web-based general ethical considerations and jurisdictional issues, each site has its own specific concerns due to the end-user relationship of the business versus consumer. Whether the end-user is a consumer or business, there is usually a sale or transaction of a particular service or product. Businesses should be aware of different legal, ethical, and regulatory issues since the Internet launches online business into the global marketplace if they are to avoid potential eCommerce liability.Legal IssuesPart of the issue in the legal realm is that the Internet makes it difficult to determine areas of jurisdiction. Laws differ all over the world making it tough for authorities to discern what state or nation would have jurisdiction to enforce or prosecute violators. The B2B environment might have concerns such as non-disclosure agreements with vendors, electronic copyright issues, and vendor agreements. Since the business might have a vendor in another country, it would also be important for the business to be cognizant of international business laws. Both businesses involved in the B2B relationship might also want to ensure that business contract language establishes which laws will govern any issues concerning jurisdiction in case of litigation. Schneider also notes that international business confuses the tax laws for many organizations conducting business on the Web.Unlike the B2B relationship, B2C retailers would not likely have concern regarding contracts as consumers purchase product directly from a business. Many business websites contain information for consumers to peruse such as privacy policy information, a disclaimer, or terms and conditions for using the site. Privacy also falls under legal issues for the B2C relationship and, "some countries are far more restrictive than others in terms of what type of information collection is acceptable and legal" (Schneider, 2004). Consumers enter credit card and other personal information through electronic retail sites, so it is essential for the site to be secure. Other legal issues that might arise in the B2C relationship include misrepresentation of company products or services.Ethical IssuesEthics are defined as a code of morals that justify right and wrong actions. Businesses often strive to conduct operations in a professional, ethical, and legal manner. Schneider comments that, "companies using Web sites to conduct electronic commerce should adhere to the same ethical standards that other businesses follow…if they do not, they will suffer the damaged reputation and long-term loss of trust that can result in loss of business". Since businesses abide by similar ethical standards, both B2B and B2C Web sites prove similar in terms of expectations of...

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