Online Business and Privacy

Online Business and Privacy

Online platforms and businesses have become a standard practice in the current professional world. Many businesses rely heavily or are fully dependant on online platforms to manage their company and sell their brand.

What is e-business?

An e-business describes a company that handles all business matters through online platforms. This means that even internal company communication is all done online, while also selling and managing a product and brand online.

Legally, e-businesses have the same responsibilities and regulations as traditional businesses, and the laws governing consumer protection in the traditional business model also apply to the e-business model.

How can privacy be achieved when relying on an e-business system?

Many businesses rely on collecting information from their consumers to make improvements to their website and business. This information is collected when consumers voluntarily accept that their information will be recorded.

For example, when a customer is notified to “accept all cookies” on a website, this means that the website is asking the consumer to accept the collection of their information for the benefit of the website. This information is beneficial to the company because it can help them improve their online experience and make it easier or more reliable. This information can be sessional, which means the information will be deleted when the browser is closed, or it could be permanent, which means it is saved until the cookie has expired or the customer personally removes the cookie from accessing more data.

However, e-businesses need to receive consent that they may collect information from their consumers. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) ensures that businesses get this consent before collecting information that could be useful to them. This collection process can be perceived as invasive, and this act is what protects people’s right to privacy by ensuring e-businesses have acquired the right to collect information from those who have consented.

PIPEDA specifically states that personal information ought to be “collected for identifiable purpose and with consent, used and disclosed for the limited purposes for which it was collected, accurate, accessible for inspection and correction, and safeguarded”.

What e-businesses can do to make their system more private

E-businesses can do many things to ensure that company members and customers know their privacy is being protected. Some things businesses can do to ensure comfortability are:

  • Develop a private policy and communicate policies so that they are guaranteed to be understood by everyone who is involved,
  • Require passwords and Dual Authentication,
  • Acquire firewalls. They protect people against intruders accessing personal information,
  • Limit what kind and how much information can be stored on your site, etc.

There are many more areas in which privacy can be ensured and specific avenues to consider depending on the kind of e-business being managed. If an e-business owner relies on selling products, there are more ways in which people’s privacy can be safeguarded, especially when payment cards and personal information are involved in transactions.

If you have any questions about how to increase privacy or about legal matters pertaining to e-businesses, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.