Websites, data protection and children

The first principle of data protection law is that personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully, and that one or more specified conditions must be met. Perhaps the most important of those conditions affecting the collection and use of personal data via websites is: "The data subject has given his consent to the processing" (Data Protection Act 1998, Schedule 2, paragraph 2). This raises the question of when a child can be taken to have consented to the processing of his or her personal data.

Internet contracts and applicable law

Many contracts, and the vast majority of professionally-drafted contracts, contain what is known as a “choice of law” clause. Choice of law clauses specify the law that will be used to interpret the contract.

Digital publishing law: why comply?

The preponderance of the laws that regulate commercial conduct online are the same laws that regulate commercial conduct offline: contract law, the law of torts, commercial law, consumer law, intellectual property law, and so on. If you know a little (or a lot) about publishing law, you know a little (or a lot) about digital publishing law.

Domain name management policies

Documented domain name management policies are exceptional. The rule is ad hoc registration of a range of domain names across a range of extensions, the domains being chosen by different people within an organisation at different times and for different purposes. The result: chaos.

Website information and procedures: transactional requirements

In yesterday's post, I considered the basic legal information that most commercial websites are required by English law to disclose. Many of these basic disclosure requirements are contained in the Electronic Commerce Regulations (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 (the “Ecommerce Regulations”). The Ecommerce Regulations also contain a number of (widely ignored) provisions that apply where contracts are entered into online. This post considers those provisions.

Website legal information: basic requirements

English law requires that most business websites supply certain information. This post outlines the main general requirements.

Domain name rights

A complainant in domain name arbitration proceedings must establish rights in the trade mark or name used to ground the complaint.

Living with legal risks

Clients sometimes assume that the instruction of a legal adviser amounts to an insurance policy against legal risk. But whilst proper legal advise should reduce a business's legal risks, it will not eliminate them.

Scraping, data mining and data harvesting

Many websites incorporate data obtained from other websites. It is sometimes thought that, where the data obtained is not protected by copyright (e.g. data consisting of postal addresses arranged alphabetically) there are no legal problems. This is however a mistake: the collection and re-use of such data can present significant legal risks.

Email footers and the law

In deciding what to include in your standard email footers, there are two kinds of legal issue: what must be included; and what inclusions are desirable. There are various distinct statutory requirements. The main kinds of potentially desirable inclusions are email disclaimers and confidentiality notices.


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Unless otherwise stated, the information and resources on this website relate to English law.

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