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Legal, Ethical, and Regulatory Web Site Issues Paper

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Legal, Ethical, and Regulatory Web Site Issues Paper

University of Phoenix

EBUS/400

May 8, 2007

Legal, Ethical, and Regulatory Web Site Issues

The Internet is a maturing and a consistently adapting entity that will survive on in perpetuity. This is why Team ponders the e-Business legal, Ethical and Regulatory Web site issues of business to business and business to consumer. Whatever is written and published online (and do not forget video, films, movies, and audio files in a myriad of application formats) will be there indefinitely. Imagine the trillions upon trillions of text information pages that are, and will exist, for a long period.

Additionally, with the impact of wireless web mail at a users fingertips via cell phones and other personal digital assistant communication devices, the Internet will be affecting more people the ever previously imagined. Security and privacy concerns, along with e-business regulatory issues will become more prevalent. Today’s Web sites are becoming more difficult to determine their trustworthiness; with all the unethical, illegal, and Internet marketing and online advertising frauds and e-Business email scams. This paper will describe the legal, ethical and regulatory issues that Blair.com, Joseph A. Bank, and Men’s Warehouse Web sites must address. Additionally, this paper will describe how each site handles security, confidentiality and international issues.

Blair.com

Ethics is universal and is applied to anything that may have relations to individuals. Ethics is there to guide businesses from harming the public and with this in mind; ethics is also tied with legalities to help defend it. Ethics and legality works hand in hand to create a peaceful environment in doing business (Ethics and Legal issues, 2001-2007). Blair.com addresses legal, ethical and regulatory issues with the utmost seriousness. Blair.com refrains from negative or defamatory articles published about the various clothing competitors on their website. From both an ethical value based and legal perspective blair.com ensures that the written words and what is portrayed about the company and products are factual. Privacy regulatory issues with Blair.com include email correspondence that should be private and confidential. The website offers the consumer the option of supplying his or her personal information that is used for account identification and future notifications of specials or sales. All personal information is kept private and confidential and will not be given or sold without the expressed permission of the consumer. Unethical redirects to other web pages with completely different information that what was shown in the search results is a typical business to consumer search spam. Blair.com has invested in the best position on the more popular internet search engines and has worked hard to preserve the reputation of having a website that is functional 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Blair.com avoids unethical and illegal spy-ware and/or ad-ware. The companies that are involved in these types of practices promote themselves as get to the top of Google, Yahoo and MSN search guaranteed for your keywords.

Blair.com maintains the capabilities to provide secure transaction processing for its consumers. Technologies like encryption, Secure Socket Layer, or validation keys are a few technologies that can be used. Proper authentication and authorization procedures are in place. The website offers claimers for security, privacy and confidentiality (Blair.com, 2007) that the company stands behind along with a 1-800 number in the event questions or concerns may arise. Blair.com does not engage in the exchange of private or confidential proprietary information with one competitor. Internal audits are conducted on these processes and certified as to the adequacy of practices and procedures implemented that can be used as an effective confidence building exercise.

Joseph A. Bank

Creating a relationship built on trust is important to Joseph A. Bank and this is especially true when it comes to business to consumer practices on the Internet. To establish good rapport with customers, Joseph A. Bank must address ethical, legal and regulatory issues on their website. Additionally, the website must handle security, confidentiality, and international concerns to provide the ultimate customer service that they have maintained for more than 102 years.

Privacy is a major concern on the Internet and it becomes an ethical issue because organizations engaging in e-commerce have the responsibility protect the privacy of individually identifiable information (e-Business Ethics, 2007). Joseph A. Bank is committed to ensuring their e-customer’s privacy is protected (Joseph A. Bank, 2007). To fulfill this ethical responsibility they have adopted and implemented a Privacy Policy and made it easy to find on the website so that customers can review the policy before any identifiable information is collected or requested. The policy explains to customers when and how identifiable information is collected and used; also advises that names and addresses may be shared with other firms whose products might interest the customer. The consumer is given the opportunity to choose whether or not the consumer wants their name included any mailings.

If not carefully managed, online marketing efforts could become legal issues if inaccuracies in ads are interpreted as false advertising. Joseph A. Bank confronts this issue by posting a disclaimer on their website. The disclaimer alerts the customer to the possibility of errors on the website and that every effort is made to keep the product information as current as possible. Customer satisfaction and acceptance is always the primary concern.

To protect the security and confidentiality of customer transactions, Joseph A. Bank uses Secure Socket Layer protocol for online order information. This procedure encrypts the order information to protect it from being decoded by anyone other than Joseph A. Bank. (Joseph A. Bank, 2007)

There are many ethical, legal, regulatory, security, confidentiality, and international issues involved in e-business. Although very few of these issues were discussed here, Joseph A. Bank ranks a leader in the business to consumer Web site strategies. Confidentiality is a core belief, with value placed on the privacy and wishes of their customers. Joseph A. Bank has taken the steps necessary to maintain the customer service on which their reputation

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