While you may be focussed on ‘what does GDPR mean’ its worth having a little look at the current laws you should already be complying with, especially as a lot of it fits together with GDPR and will be relevant afterwards too.
If you are running a legal entity like a charity or company then on your website, in an easy to find place (like the contact page, legal page or footer of all pages) should be:
- Entity Name (especially if the website is a brand)
- Registration Number
- Registered Office Address (even if this is your personal address – for which you might want to consider a ‘Registered Office’ service)
For example at the bottom of every page on this site it says:
freshSPRING Ltd is limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales #5474197 at 20-22 Wenlock Road, London N1 7GU.
The Information Commissioners Office info on Cookies and in terms of solutions we find that the Cookie Control from Civic is quite flexible (depending on the level of cookie control you want to offer and style).
Distance Selling Regulations
Selling online as an individual is exceptionally easy, eg. via eBay or just popping something on Gumtree. While setup is equally easy for companies and charities don’t forget the the Distance Selling Regulations apply, which include requiring things like:
- Delivery and Returns Policy
- Terms & Conditions (you’re selling something, it’s a contract)
- Postage and Tax costs
Note: you also have a duty to protect people’s financial information, and there’s more information besides, which you can read up on Gov.uk Online and Distance Selling
Disability Discrimination Laws
Of course these are important requirements, but hopefully not ones you really have to worry about if your website is designed well as it should be accessible to all by default – as this applies to Search Engines too.
Specific things which should be done:
- Avoiding low-contrast (eg. yellow writing on white backgrounds)
- Navigation aids for keyboard shortcuts (often baked into Content Management Systems like WordPress)
- Ability to increase/decrease the size of text
- Use of Headings, eg. Heading 1, Heading 2, etc
- Addition of Alternative and Title text on images (eg. ‘Boys looking down well’ on a picture of that)
- Avoiding putting too much text into images, i.e. allowing text to be read out by browsers for the blind
There’s more besides, but the above is essentially helpful to all users so should be done anyway.
Email Legal Requirements
Yes your email also has legal requirements. In short email is treated like a letter and has the same legislation apply to it as stationery.
The UK Companies Act 2006 (amended 2007) requires every company to list its registratoin number, place of registration and registered office address in an email. Failure to comply puts a company at risk of a fine of up to £1,000.
Although not required we would recommend:
- if doing contract negotiations put in a line about ‘this does not constitute a contract’
- putting your phone number and website address in the footer (make it easy for people!)
- remembering that emails are legal documents, admissable in court, so take care when writing
We would also recommend having a quick read of ‘Marketing and advertising: the law’ on Gov.uk