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Compliance Over Complaints: Website Regulations for Businesses

Compliance Over Complaints: Website Regulations for Businesses

If you’re like most small business owners, you’re busy making sure customers are helped, bills are paid, employees are scheduled to work; the list goes on. Now, on top of everything you do, you need to maintain a website that meets several different sets of compliance guidelines. We get it. This dilemma is exactly why VGM Forbin created website compliance packages for all websites we create. Whether you’re in the healthcare industry, financial industry or fall under GDPR, WCAG or CCPA restrictions, we’re here to help. 

What is website compliance?  

Website Compliance is an overarching concept that describes all government website regulations. Laws that govern websites are meant to uphold rights to online accessibility and privacy for all individuals. This is a good thing! While it is more work to comply with web regulations, it’s yet another way businesses can help their customers; by respecting their rights while they search for the right products and services for them. 

Why website compliance is important  

It’s not just large companies that are getting sued. VGM Forbin has unfortunately seen a few of our own small business clients battle litigation after opting out of our web compliance services. This is why we emphasize educating yourself on website compliance standards and offer services to help you not only stay compliant but provide the best website experience possible. 

Current legislation and who needs to follow it 

Not all businesses are required to follow the standards we discuss below. The first step is to find out if you are required by law to follow them and then take the necessary steps to meet those standards. 

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): The GDPR was the first regulation of its kind for businesses. Before the internet, businesses only had to worry about following laws set by the local government where their physical locations were. Then the whirlwind of the internet extended businesses’ reach far beyond physical locations and enabled them to sell across the world. The European Union (EU) determined that it was in their residents’ best interest to have power over what information is collected and distributed. 

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA): The CCPA is the strictest set of privacy laws in the United States as of 2021 and sets a standard that other states are likely to follow in the near future. It’s meant to protect the consumer’s right to choose how their personal information is collected and processed. We recommend all U.S.-based businesses get familiar with this legislation, even if they are not currently required to adhere to its requirements, in preparation for the future. 

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA): When people think of HIPAA, they often think of how doctors and nurses must follow specific rules when sharing patient information. While this is one accurate instance of when the Act is required, HIPAA also extends to how businesses and organizations collect and distribute personal health information (PHI) online. 

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, WCAG is the gold standard for web accessibility. These guidelines created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) ensure that individuals, regardless of disability, have access to the same information as individuals without disabilities on the web. If you’re not sure what web accessibility is, this article is a great place to start: What is Website Accessibility?

Are you at risk of being sued?  

The short answer: every business is at risk. While many lawsuits get thrown out of court, anyone with a lawyer can file a lawsuit in the United States and we’re seeing more litigation over privacy, and especially, accessibility. 

Where to go from here 

As a company that’s been developing websites for essential industries, like the healthcare and financial industries, we’ve created solutions to help you avoid litigation and provide an exceptional experience to all of your customers. 

Download the white paper to learn everything you need to know about website compliance and where to go from here.