Ethical, legal and regulatory issues of Business to Business (B2B) sites are quite similar to Business to Consumer (B2C) sites. The only difference is that the costumer is either a company or just an average Joe consumer. If he/she/it is a victim of a scam, false ad or leaking of valuable information, then the only result is loss of customer or possible revenue for the business. Rules governing online business differ from place to place so fraud is quite common on the online world. B2C web sites are about publicity, but B2B is often unmentioned because it is always in the background.
Here we will look at the issues governing both web sites. It is important to take note that the ethical, legal and regulatory issues overlap or connect with each other. Ethical Since the boom of the Internet, ethics became very important online. Ethical issues in B2B sites deal with information about their companies and transactions they had. Ethics in this situation is very important. Sharing information about one’s company to another is unethical since it could be used by other companies against the company itself.
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Since the transactions had been done online one of the companies involved in the transaction could post the information about the transactions. The information posted could be virtually impossible to trace back to a company. Codes of ethics was developed to protect both parties. While on B2C sites, the issue is the privacy of the consumer. Not every consumer wants his name being advertised on web pages without his permission. For example, a famous artist bought an item over the net. Consequently, the company had his personal information since most of them require it. And the company posts his name as their customer.
Then at that instant the famous artist became their endorser. But the privacy issue applies in both B2B and B2C sites. New technologies have emerged and these have impacts on the lives of consumers and businesses. Security and privacy become significant for the protection of both businesses and consumers. Anyone can post advertisements, unethical and illegal marketing and Ebusiness email scams that it is hard to determine who to trust online. For the most part, the participant’s ethics are set forth by ethical codes developed by international governing bodies which protect both parties.
Legal Legal issues concerning B2C sites include copywriting and publishing. Libel can have bad implications if negative or defamatory articles were published about people and companies on other websites. Information must be fully researched before posting. Intellectual property rights should also be observed to prevent from any legal damages. Copyright infringements in both B2B and B2B websites should be avoided since this will affect the credibility of the websites and their relationship with the consumers or businesses. Only factual information should be posted.
Before publishing anything, the web site must get permission first from the clients. Scams also have bad legal implications for the websites. They can be sued for publishing information that is incorrect or malicious. Both B2B and B2C sites should avoid money making scams. Identity theft, as well as Internet frauds in B2C sites will result to major problems. Moreover, if webmasters do unethical alterations in a clients web site, it will result to long lasting negative consequences for the business and for the client. This may urge clients to take legal action that may be harmful to the life of the B2C sites.
Another area where B2B and B2C sites differ is on revealing trade secrets or intellectual property. Violation will only occur if an employee leaked information or sold it to a competitor. But unless a consumer invented or patented a product and was taken advantage of by a business, any statement saying that revealing or selling intellectual property will not apply here. Regulatory Regulations of B2B and B2C sites vary from state to state. Regulatory issues concerning B2B sites include activities which look into regulating the site.
Since these sites post advertisements or pop-ups about their businesses, regulation must be observed so that only pop-ups of the business or company appear. The traffic of information is also regulated so that clients are not lost when they navigate these web sites. Regulations also play an important role to keep everything on track. B2C sites, on the other hand, also see regulation as important. Oftentimes, other companies post their ads on the sites of their competitors, thus attracting the consumers to visit and maybe try their services. This is stealing of customers, which is also an ethical and legal issue.
Through regulation, this kind of situation can be prevented. Other regulatory issues involved include regulations on electronic, e-commerce, credit/cash policies, international trade, tariffs, privacy, digital media offers and security. REFERENCES Franz, Nora. (28 March 2006). Consumers: Beware of Online “Freebie” Scams, Including Magazine Subscriptions Ethics in Question for Online Businesses Offering Freebies. Warholic, James A. Importance of Ethics on the Internet. Warholic, james A. Internet Marketing B2B vs B2C Comparisons for the Twenty-First Century.
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