E-commerce contract; With whom you are contracting? | Cyber Law – 01

Yesterday, I visited an e-commerce website, that nice looking website was offering an I phone 5 at a discounted price at 18000 taka only; and I followed their procedure thereon, filled my name, address, shipping address, billing address, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number etc. and that’s a lot of personal information of mine, that got me thinking about my privacy and to whom I am giving my information, then further questions begin to pop up in my head.

1. Am I contracting with a person or with a website?
2. Whether the contract would be a valid or not?
3. Did the website offer me and I accepted the offer in a response to that offer or things got otherwise?
4. Does law accept all this procedure?
5. Where to go if I got cheated?
6. What forum should I follow for the legal procedure?

Let’s begun the answer hunt now.

First of all, it’s important to know with whom I am dealing with, Now the question may come how to find that. to make a valid contract we must deal with a legal person, that might be a natural person or company or a partner of a partnership firm. To be confirmed it is our duty to read the guidelines of the website carefully. Generally, there are some (web) pages are dedicated to answering those questions like About us, Who we are, FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions),  Terms and Conditions, Legal, Privacy Policy etc. It is quite likely that you would find a clear legal identity of the website and who is behind that.

Specific Relief Act BangladeshThere is a legal term “Caveat emptor” means “Buyer Beware” that means if you are a buyer it is your duty to check the fact carefully before you buy so if you think you are going to spend a good amount of money it would be wise to be more aware of that person behind the gibberish coding and watching your private information, then there are some more tools available to confirm the information they provided on their website.

Such as, If that website claims them as a company or firm their primary registration information could be found on Joint Stock Commission office (or via their website : http://app.roc.gov.bd:7781/ ).

e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh cab also be helpful to check their registered members (http://e-cab.net/)

Furthermore, the information that is given on the website can be cross checked with their banking information; the account name and number they provide for the online transfer of money (via any electronic transfer method, such as; credit card, debit card, mobile banking etc.)

Similarly, the domain name register can be checked very easily using some third-party website (for example: https://who.is/  etc. ) though it might be hidden for security reason. so that option is not that dependable.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. that technology can also help us to two matter to secure the connection, because it guarantees that no one is interrupting your communication and various types (not all) of SSL Certificate are provided by various company by confirming the the authority and legality of the website.

Here, following this verification method we should realize that it is not necessary that all the website provides same types of service, the web world is a place of highly creative people with ever-growing innovative ideas. Some website may sell their own products, some may use their website as a shop, others may use it as a platform of gathering of people to negotiate with each other, some may just work as advertiser, therefore it is very important to use all available information to know your position as a communicator before you enter into any contractual obligation.

Nonetheless,  even though the information is correct, as the contract is conducted via the Internet is sometimes ambiguous whether the real person is making the transaction or not? and the technical problems, automation, digital security, authentication (signature) etc shall also deserve their own space of discussion.

For more discussion keep your eye one LawHelpBD.Com

(The information that is given here generally considering in the context of Bangladesh )

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Rayhanul Islam

Advocate Rayhanul Islam is the founder and Editor in Chief of Law Help BD. He is also a researcher. Critical thinking is his main focus. He is on a quest to bring positive change to the legal sector of Bangladesh. He promotes legal knowledge and human rights concept to the root level. e-mail: [email protected]

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