This post is part of a series of articles covering Online Privacy Policies as they relate to website and blog operators. The purpose is to provide insight into the less obvious legal risks that entrepreneurs are exposed to in the area of privacy law and PII, simply by owning a website or blog. The fact is, legal consequences can result even if mishandling of PII is unintentional. [Continue reading]
Businesses with an online presence need to comply not only with the laws of local jurisdictions but also with the terms and conditions of search engine providers like Google and Bing. From privacy to copyrights to tax collection, these articles offer information you might find useful.
When I initially got involved with designing websites, I remember being unclear about whether online privacy policies are required by law for the average website or blog operator. When I researched the issue, I quickly realized the answer is not a simple one. The short answer is: it depends. The longer, more complete answer depends on whether you are talking about federal law or state law. At the federal level, it depends on the age of the website-visitor. At the state level, it depends on which state the site-visitor resides in. The goal of this article is to provide clarity on this issue at both levels. [Continue reading]
A local newspaper in Las Vegas, Nevada, was so fed up with the problem of copyright infringement they contracted a company to seek out and sue websites and blogs that copied their content in an unauthorized manner. More than 275 lawsuits have been filed. Defendants include hobby bloggers, forum operators, and commercial website owners. One of the more controversial suits was against the publishers of a noncommercial blog about cats. [Continue reading]
In a previous article, I made the point that due to variations in evolving state laws requiring online privacy policies, the U.S. needs a standard set of requirements at the federal level. Without a universal standard across the U.S., online entrepreneurs were going to have a difficult, if not impossible, time complying with privacy rules. As the saying goes… be careful what you wish for! As of this writing (10 months later), 16 online privacy related bills have been introduced in Congress – and we are only halfway through 2011. They are listed here along with links to each bill in THOMAS, the Congressional database. [Continue reading]
The Marketplace Fairness Act, if signed into law, will empower state governments to require out-of-state online retailers and mail order companies to collect sales tax, or more specifically “use tax”, on interstate sales. To date, online retailers have been required to collect sales tax only if the business has a presence in the same state in which the consumer resides. Currently, if an online retailer sells a product to a consumer living in a different state, the consumer is expected to pay the tax. Most local brick-and-mortar retailers want to change that. [Continue reading]