E-commerce business is predominantly based upon use of technology. For instance, websites are hosted on servers and can be opened only once a domain name is acquired. Domain name has become an important strategy for successful e-commerce in India. Similarly, protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and brand in the online environment has become a tough task.
Legal and regulatory compliances are sine quo non for the performance of any business in a legal manner. In the present times, these legal compliances have become very technical and cumbersome. This is more so when e-commerce business is involved. Cyber law due diligence (Pdf), e-commerce due diligence, cyber security due diligence, etc are some of the due diligence fields that e-commerce stakeholders of India are not complying with.
E-commerce business involves information and communication technology (ICT) for its conduct and operation. ICT introduces additional challenges like conflict of laws in cyberspace for various e-commerce stakeholders and law enforcement agencies. Cyber security challenges are also faced while doing e-commerce business.
E-commerce business is flourishing at a great speed in India. Most of the e-commerce entrepreneurs are concentrating upon commercial aspects with an eye upon profit motive. In this race they are ignoring techno legal requirements that may affect their rights in the long run.
For instance, e-commerce laws in India are spread across multiple legal frameworks and they are seldom followed by Indian e-commerce stakeholders. Even foreign e-commerce players and portals are required to be registered in India and comply with Indian laws.
Similarly, e-commerce players are required to comply with cyber law and cyber security regulatory compliances in India. A dedicated law for cyber security breaches disclosures is also in pipeline that would impose stringent obligations upon e-commerce players operating in India. Companies that would fail to comply with the cyber law due diligence requirements in India may be punished according to Indian laws.
The cyber security challenges for Indian companies are very difficult to manage in the absence of proper planning and management. Directors of Indian companies and e-commerce websites can be held liable for improper cyber security dealings in India.
Thus, cyber security regulatory compliances issues of e-commerce businesses in India cannot be ignored by various stakeholders except at the risk of litigations and heavy monetary compensations.