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NEWS

Law for a Digital Republic :
what impact on the e-commerce?

With the adoption of the Law for a Digital Republic (“LDR”) dated 7th October, the French lawmaker had the ambition to foster the opening and circulation of the knowledge and of data, to enable an open digital environment, respectful of privacy and personal data, as well as to facilitate access to digital. The LDR contains various provisions regarding e-commerce sector and certain Internet websites will have to implement those to ensure being compliant and change some practices.

 
CREATION OF A NEW NOTION : ONLINE PLATFORM PROVIDERS

First, the notion of online platform providers, is created by the LDR, defined as “any individual or legal entity offering professionally, on a remunerated or non-remunerated basis, an online communication service to the public”. The LDR imposes to such online platform providers to provide a fair, clear and transparent information. Moreover, from a certain activity threshold to be set up by decree, these platforms must comply to additional rules for consumer’s information. These new requirements are added to a set of preexisting rules, concerning pre-contractual information to be delivered before the conclusion of any online contract or information regarding the promotional characteristic of an online message. 


IMPROVING TRANSPARENCE ON THE INTERNET
 

Aiming at enhancing transparency on the Internet, the LDR provides for rules which purpose is to regulate online reviews. The law imposes to websites publishing reviews to indicate if their publication has been subject to a verification process and if so, to specify the main characteristics of this verification process.


NEW RULES CONCERNING DIGITAL DATA AND PERSONAL DATA

Among the provisions impacting the e-commerce, the LDR contains new rules applicable to digital data (not only personal data) by imposing professionals to offer their customers the possibility to easily retrieve and transfer these data.  

Finally, the LDR includes provisions regarding the protection of personal data, anticipating on certain aspects, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) that will come into force in May 2018. 

Several decrees must be adopted and will allow e-commerce professionals to apprehend precisely the modifications to implement in their practice as well as their websites’ legal documentation, in order to comply with the LDR.

 

(For more details, see F. Bouguettaya: “Loi pour une République numérique : quel impact pour le e-commerce”,  in RLDI janvier 2017 – n°133, p.44)