Key Website Agreements
• 20 Dec 21
Key Website Agreements
Personal data is generally defined widely to entail information that can be used to identify an individual. This means that personal data extends beyond the information that is traditionally perceived as “personal” (such as one’s name and height), and could even encompass information such as the IP address of one’s computer.
The collection and processing of personal data feature in the operation of many businesses, particularly where businesses operate websites. Even where a business does not rely heavily on personal data to generate revenue, it frequently collects and processes more personal data than it expects.
The proliferation of high profile data breaches in recent years has resulted in a stricter data privacy enforcement climate across the globe. It is thus becoming increasingly important for businesses to comply with data privacy laws. A failure to do so could result in hefty penalties, as well as a tarnished reputation.
In this article, we examine the measures that businesses can take to collect personal data safely on their websites.
Legal Notices for Websites
A website is instrumental for business. Given the ubiquity of the internet, operating a website provides businesses with access to individuals and markets never seen before in any other era of human history.
The proliferation of e-commerce has resulted in websites becoming increasingly multi-functional. Websites are not only used to convey information but can also be used to collect information and to operate various revenue-generating activities for a business.
A common issue that business owners face is whether to put up legal notices on their websites. A legal notice is a notice that sets out various rights and obligations of the business as well as the website visitor, with respect to the website. Put simply, it is important for business owners to put up such legal notices on their websites. Some of these may include the following.
Obtain consent with respect to personal data
Businesses often collect and process individuals’ personal data for the purposes of their operations. Yet, the data privacy enforcement climate is becoming increasingly strict amidst the emergence of high-profile data breaches.
Besides, data privacy regimes are becoming increasingly consistent as jurisdictions seek to adopt a coordinated approach towards data privacy enforcement. One concept holds true across data privacy regimes worldwide – the requirement for consent.
It is thus crucial for organisations to obtain clear and unequivocal consent from data subjects for the collection and/or processing of their personal data. Legal notices are crucial for ensuring that businesses comply with their data privacy obligations. Businesses commonly use legal notices on their websites to inform website visitors about the purposes of collecting and/or processing their personal data, as well as to procure the consent of website visitors for the collection and/or processing of their personal data for such purposes.
Operating a website with an extremely wide reach means that there is potentially an extremely high number of visitors to the website.
While there are certainly positives to draw from high traffic volume, a high number of visitors could also expose businesses to potential liabilities to a large number of individuals and entities. If not kept in check, these potential liabilities could cause crippling losses to a business.
In this regard, businesses may use legal notices to set out various disclaimers of liability with respect to their website. These disclaimers may include disclaimers from liability with respect to:
● Any inaccurate information on the website
● Any opinions set out on the website
● The content of external web pages that have been linked from the website
Intellectual Property (“IP”) is generally defined to mean “creations of the mind” – these include inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols/names/images used in commerce. The wide definition of IP means that, more often than not, at least some of your website content will constitute IP.
The IP contained in your website content could form a crucial part of your business, and having exclusive rights in such IP may be instrumental in helping you maintain a competitive advantage over your business rivals.
● Restrictions on the copying of website content (e.g. allowed to copy only for personal and non-commercial use)
● Requirement for the consent of the business owner in the event that website visitors intend to reproduce such website content
● Restrictions on linking to the website
We hope the above article shed some light on the concept of website agreements. If you found this helpful, you might want to take a look at our Website terms checklist. Have a look at all the related products in the side scroll bar to see how GLS can help your Startup today.
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*The above content does not constitute, nor is it offered as, legal advice of any kind. GLS Solutions Pte Ltd is not a law firm and any support provided pursuant to this entity is not regulated legal advice or legal opinion.