B2B VS B2C: Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues

Essay by orozco1University, Bachelor'sA+, July 2006

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As stated in earlier papers, the main difference between B2B sites and B2C sites is the customer that the site is serving. B2B sites are companies dealing with other companies and B2C sites are selling products or services to consumers directly via their web site. Every company needs to deal with legal, ethical and regulatory issues every day in normal business activities, but there are a whole new set of issues that come up with so much business being conducted online and this paper will attempt to show the differences and similarities between B2B and B2C sites.

Ethical Issues

Privacy issues are a major difference between B2B sites and B2C sites. On a B2C site, privacy is one of the main concerns because the majority of customers are private citizens. Since B2C sites are mostly transaction oriented, keeping credit card information, purchase details and personal information secure is a must for any B2C site to protect consumers from fraud.

Also, not allowing third parties to send unsolicited emails and spam without the consumer permission is considered an ethical responsibility for a B2C site (Wiki, 2004). B2B customers are not as concerned about privacy because they are usually conducting business using their company's information when making any transactions. Intellectual property rights are another ethical issue B2B sites and B2C sites differ on. B2B sites usually have proprietary information such as trade secrets, financial records, supply chain information or any other data that is confidential. Some companies have very strict ethic code of conduct rules for employees who have access to company information. Raytheon Missile Co. requires that employees attend one hour of ethics training every year in addition to strict Internet guidelines and computer monitoring (Wilder & Soat, 2001). Copyright infringement is also a problem for B2b sites more than it...