Is Your Website Breaking the Law? Part I


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Are you a web scofflaw?  If you live in California, the answer is probably “yes.”

Last night I attended a workshop on this topic by Tandoc & Wehr, pretty sure they’d be talking about things like photos one could legally use and copyright attributions.   And I confess, I was feeling a bit smug on the whole thing.  It turns out, most of my websites are (were) indeed, breaking the law.

First, I’m not a lawyer so don’t take anything I say here as legal advice.  This is just general info – things to think about.  When in doubt, talk to a legal professional.

Yeah, they scared me.

Here’s what it boiled down to:

  1. If you collect any client data – even if it’s just off a “contact me” form, you need to state your privacy policy on your website.
  2. If you’re selling anything, have an interactive site with comments, or a professional blog that gives advice, you need a Terms of Use statement.
  3. If you are providing information that can be construed as advice, you need an information disclaimer.
And if you feel like you have just enough information to be scared but not enough to do anything about it, welcome to my world.  I’ve slapped up Terms of Use and Disclaimer statements on this blog based on stuff I’ve found online, but can’t guarantee they cover all the bases.
I’ll try to have a sit down with Tandoc & Wehr in the near future to see what’s right or wrong with my own disclaimers, so watch for Part II.

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