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IT & internet law – frequently asked questions

Online activity is at the forefront of most businesses now, creating more possibilities for working relationships and doing business in ways that were simply not possible years ago.

Online activity is at the forefront of most businesses now, creating more possibilities for working relationships and doing business in ways that were simply not possible years ago.

PGM can assist start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and corporate clients with a range of legal issues relating to IT and Internet Law, guiding you through all the relevant legal issues, simplifying a complex area of law and ensuring that you comply with legislation and have all the necessary protections in place.

Here are a few frequently asked questions relating to IT & Internet law.

What is internet law?
The internet impacts various areas of our daily lives, so internet law is a mixture of the various laws that apply to these areas, plus a few areas of law that have been developed specifically for the internet. General laws that apply in an internet context include:

  • intellectual property law
  • contract law
  • privacy law
  • harassment laws

More specific laws include:

  • data protection
  • cybercrime
  • cybersecurity

What do I need on my website for it to be legally compliant?
Not the most exciting part of owning a website – but nonetheless, essential to note that certain information must be included in order for your website to be legally compliant. This process can often be forgotten about until of course, something goes awry. Read more here.

Can PGM draft my policies for me?
Yes, PGM can draft the relevant policies that will meet your needs and adhere to the laws. We can help you with both the content and the design of terms of use, to ensure that they are binding.

What is the basic cost for drafting website policies?
Terms and policies are specifically tailored to your website:

Terms and Conditions – £250 + VAT
Website Privacy – £100 + VAT
Package – £300 + VAT

What should be included in a social media policy?
An employer should set out in writing what they regard as acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

Make clear whether personal use of social media sites is permitted on computers and mobile phones in your workplace. Be aware of what your business publishes across the range of social media platforms and put appropriate compliance and quality control procedures in place. It should also give clear guidelines for employees on what they can and cannot say about the business.

  1. Acceptable behaviour and use of the internet: are employees allowed any personal use? Are some websites prohibited entirely? i.e. Facebook or online shopping sites such as Amazon.
  2. Smart phones: are employees allowed to use their own phone whilst in work? If the employer provides a phone, what personal use are they allowed? Not just phone calls, but data and internet use – browsing websites, watching videos, downloading apps.
  3. Social networks, including blogging and Tweeting: can employees use social networks and make posts during the working day? It’s a good idea to be very clear about what is and isn’t acceptable to post about. You may have staff who are employed to manage your company’s own social media profile, in which case you will need to be clear about the standards you expect.
  4. Data protection and monitoring: will there be strict monitoring involved? Employees need to be made aware of the monitoring. Logging everything and reading personal emails is likely to be unacceptable.
  5. Disciplinary consequences of a breach of the policy: it’s important to flag to employees, that breaches of the policy may attract disciplinary measures, if appropriate.

Employers should make clear that harassment and bullying of other employees via social media will be treated in the same way as harassment or bullying in any other context. This can be included in an anti-bullying and harassment policy.

What is GDPR?
The UK GDPR sets out the key principles, rights and obligations for most processing of personal data in the UK. For individuals, the UK GDPR aims to strengthen individuals’ rights in relation to how their personal data are processed, giving them greater control over their own identity, privacy and interactions with others. For organisations, it aims to remove unnecessary barriers to trade and co-operation and enable the free flow of data, while ensuring proper protections are in place.

For further guidance, contact us for specialist advice on 01792 468684 or email enquiries@pgmsolicitors.co.uk. 

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