With E-Commerce becoming one of the fastest growing commercial markets, businesses are venturing online in order to conduct transactions and target new channels. While the prospering rise of the internet has presented new markets, the law is continuing to evolve in order to protect consumers from online businesses. When selling products and/or services online, it is important that a business protects itself through a website’s terms and conditions, terms of use and a privacy policy.

Terms and Conditions

The website terms and conditions regulate the online transactions where you sell your products or services to clients. The terms and conditions operate as a contractual agreement by explaining the terms of trade. They must be accessible and transparent, being attainable from the home page and present through a ‘click to accept’ button, or sent by email, before a transaction has been conducted.

A websites terms and conditions include clauses setting out product delivery, payment terms, refunds, repairs, warranties and cancellations. Such terms are mandatory consumer guarantees that are required under the Australian Consumer Law. The website terms and conditions enable you alleviate any potential disputes between clients, while minimizing your liability against deceptive and misleading conduct.

Terms of Use

While the terms and conditions apply to clients that are engaging in a transaction, the website terms of use apply to all users who visit the website. The terms of use express what visitors can or cannot do with the information displayed on the website. It is an important tool for websites as it protects your intellectual property from republishing without consent, while incorporating a disclaimer that specifies your limitations for liability.

Privacy Policy

Any business that collects personal information such as names, date of birth and email addresses are obligated to protect customers privacy under the Privacy Act 1988 (CTH). A Privacy Policy discloses how you collect, store and share customer data. An up-to-date Privacy Policy reassures visitors that their personal data is protected by explaining how data is captured, whether cookies are deployed and whether it is used for marketing and promotions to third parties. The Privacy Policy must feature in the navigation of a website and be accessible from every page of the website. Its inclusion on a website is a necessary safeguard to a potential breach of the Privacy Act 1988 (CTH), where companies may be liable to fines of up to $1.7 million.

Dominic Woolrych

Dominic is the CEO of LawPath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.