Maybe you own a web design company, or are a freelancer hoping to set up shop on your own. You may be concerned about potential pitfalls along the way – a strong competitor or an unfortunate economic crisis. These are undoubtedly real threats, but there could be a problem closer to home that you hadn’t considered: your own website could be your downfall. Not many business owners know this but if you aren’t complying with the latest in website and online legislation, the rami_ications could be extremely damaging. It’s not a lost irony that so many websites are important to so many businesses these days, yet we know so little about the rules that apply. So what are the most important pieces of legislation we need to know about?It’s pretty obvious that the Data Protection Act exists to protect how the sensitive personal information businesses hold is used and shared. Or else, you’d think it was obvious. Earlier this year, Brunel University commissioned a study concluding that 48 per cent of the UK’s websites are in breach of EU data protection laws and are inadvertently sharing customer data. Companies that are doing this could very well end up in deep water. For example, having failed to address a vulnerability in its website, potentially exposing sensitive data, tech giant Sony was _ined £250,000 by the Information Commissioner’s O__ice (ICO), the body in charge of website legislation.
But it’s not just big businesses who ought to be worried about being caught out by the ICO. Internet estate agency, Virtual Property World, is currently being investigated by the ICO for publishing the details of customers on its website, including bank accounts, telephone numbers, addresses and house price purchase details. Not only could this result in a substantial _ine, it could be seriously damaging to the brand as well as its users. Think that’s it? Think on! Your website must also comply with
2012’s EU Cookie Law. In fact, companies trading within EU member