E-Commerce and Web Site Liability

Your web site has drawn gratifying interest and you want to expand its services.

  • If you are a manufacturer you plan to provide your customers with on-line order capability.
  • If you are a software provider you offer your clients upgrades and products to download from the web.
  • If you provide consumer product reviews and recommendations, you plan to provide, under manufacturer’s agreement, limited products for purchase directly from your web site.

In addition to the “Cyberspace Risks” I have covered in past newsletters, you are now becoming a product sale entity, thus:

  • subject to strict consumer protection statutes
  • subject to federal trade restrictions
  • considered the original manufacturer, possibly, for non-US produced goods.
  • open to fraud and complex data security issues (see “Internet Data Security” article in this issue).

Make sure your insurer is prepared to defend you for any related claims against you.