Online Ethical, Legal, and Regulatory Issues in B2B versus B2C
Companies doing business on the Web must be certain of their ability to manage the liabilities that can emerge as a result of today's online business environment. This environment includes laws and ethical factors that are sometimes different from those in the brick and mortar setting. The online environment often forms a network of customers who can have considerable levels of communication with each other. Online businesses that break the law or violate ethical standards, therefore, can face swift and harsh reactions from customers and other stakeholders who will quickly learn of the businesses' unscrupulous online behaviors. Online customers also have much more interactive and complex relationships with online businesses than they do with traditional companies. This is because Internet technologies enable companies to build Web sites that can be customized to meet the specific needs of their B2B or B2C customers (Schneider, 2004). Online businesses can use this property of the online environment to manage the legal and ethical requirements of both business and consumer clientele.
Ethics are especially important in the B2B framework because businesses selling to other businesses treat their customers more as partners and rely on reciprocal information sharing for developing mutually beneficial partnerships (Pepper, 2004). Because the relationship is more extensive, every time there is an exchange of information or data, it must be meticulously tracked and labeled as general business or confidential as appropriate (Dada, 2004).
B2B merchants must prevent unauthorized access to customer information on their Web sites, and protect the privacy of...
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...relationships can grow. This is especially important to companies that conduct part or all their business on the internet no matter which of those two types of clients they serve. It is especially important that building this environment of trust online include a thorough knowledge of the laws, regulations and ethical factors that affect a particular company's ability to serve the needs of its customers.