Did you know that all business websites must adhere to rules set out under UK and EU law?
This article addresses the legal requirements placed on commercial websites that must be met to operate within the law – and the possible consequences of failing to comply.
Business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce has grown rapidly over the last decade. Figures from Boston Consulting Group show that the digital economy generated £121 billion pounds for the UK in 2010 – online shopping accounted for just over half of that figure, bringing in £64 billion. The popularity of ecommerce prompted governments from across the EU to rethink consumer protection laws.
They were concerned that any Tom, Dick or Javier could set up a website selling products and services – but how would consumers have confidence that the services or goods on offer were being provided by genuine businesses?
It may be unlawful for a website to:
- have links on that are not accessible to a screen reader
- have application forms (for instance, for bank accounts or job application forms) in a PDF format that cannot be read by a screen reader
- have core service information (for instance, timetables on a public transport website) that is not in a format accessible to screen readers.
- use text, colour contrasting and formatting that make the website inaccessible to a partially sighted service user
- change security procedures (for instance, on an e-commerce website) without considering the impact of blind and partially sighted customers that use screen readers.