An Executives Guide to Legal & Regulatory Requirements of Digital Business.

Introduction.

In today’s business world, ecommerce is no longer about simply having an online presence. Business is transactional, mobile and social. Using social business interactions and concepts, the previous model of one-to-one transactional business relationships has evolved to incorporate stakeholders in all aspects of product and service development and delivery. Every connection and every kind of collaboration is possible. Almost all communication has become reciprocal, and thus interactive. Social business practices such as “gamification” are now used to enhance engagement. Evolution of “Big Data” has created real-time metrics in an environment where companies have a better understanding of non-transaction data about products, services and brands such as awareness, engagement, and reach. Thus, the social side of business has become as important as the traditional transactional side of the business.

Understandably, this new level of engagement is not without risks. Websites, web services, applications and social media accounts can create unexpected legal and regulatory compliance risks. With the speed of search engines, social networking platforms and mobile computing, any online problem can quickly grow well beyond the initial issue, sometimes with far-reaching effects.

As businesses expand into new online areas for marketing and commerce, business executives and their lawyers must familiarize themselves with the risks and pitfalls of these new channels, in order to properly set strategies and action items. In order to ensure regulatory compliance and mitigate these legal risks, executives should be aware of a myriad of laws and risk areas implicated when one conducts business online.

One method often used to assess a client’s exposure to potential legal risks is to conduct an “e-commerce legal audit.” This book follows that path by providing guidance on the various points of contact between a company and its employees, customers and vendors and how those create risk.

Starting with Trade & Commerce issues, this book has been organized around the most common types of content and services that may be provided, the terms of service or legal disclaimers needed, pertinent intellectual property rights and issues, and other potential legal hot spots that may give rise to liability for a company doing business online. Whether you are preparing to conduct a stem-to-stern audit of your business or just seeking guidance on a discrete area of concern, the book has been organized into complementary subject areas. Each chapter contains black letter legal guidance and where appropriate, specific examples to illustrate application of the rules in practice.

The legal risk and issues vary widely depending or industry and product/service mix and encompass many interrelated areas of the law. Generally, the key areas and issues to look at and consider are:

I. Trade & Commerce Issues

II. Online Agreements

III. Intellectual Property Issues

IV. Privacy & Security

V. Human Resources & Employment Issues.

N.B. The book is in its final editing stage. To preorder your copy, click here: Subscribe to Ping(R)

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