Know the Rules, Regulations of E-Commerce

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 7, 2016 | Go to article overview

Know the Rules, Regulations of E-Commerce


E-commerce has revolutionized the way companies do business, allowing them to reach customers, expand markets, and generate sales anytime, anywhere.

While e-commerce can free a small business from the constraints of a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront, there are still laws and regulations that must be followed. Many laws and regulations have emerged with the growth of e-commerce businesses. E-Commerce laws address consumer concerns about the use of private information, identify theft, and transaction security. Here are some important laws e-retailers should be aware of:

* Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA): Despite a small business's best efforts to safeguard and secure its online transaction system, hacking and identity theft remain a serious problems. FCRA spells out rights for victims of identity theft, as well as responsibilities for businesses. For example, identity theft victims are entitled to ask businesses for a copy of transaction records (e.g., invoices, credit applications, account statements.) relating to the theft of their identity.

* Disposal Rule: This was created to safeguard customers' personal information, the disposal rule requires businesses to take appropriate measures to dispose of sensitive information derived from consumer reports. Although the rule gives each business the flexibility to determine the most reasonable method to dispose of the information based on its sensitivity, cost, and changes in technology; a business still remains obligated to take appropriate steps to ensure personal information is not misused.

* Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule: Applicable to online orders as well, this rule spells out the ground rules for making promises about shipments, notifying consumers about unexpected delays, and refunds.

Businesses must have a reasonable basis for stating that a product can be shipped within a certain time, typically 30 days unless clearly specified otherwise. …

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