E-business legislation creating uncertainty



Getting IT systems to conform to statutory financial services regulation is an obstacle course, particularly when it comes to storing Web data for several...



Getting IT systems to conform to statutory financial services regulation is an obstacle course, particularly when it comes to storing Web data for several years. That was the message to tif members from Margaret Smith, e-commerce director of Legal & General, who stressed the uncertain implications of the growing raft of European and UK legislation on e-business.

Smith said that under the new Data Protection Act we need to ask people before putting cookies on their systems. IT managers need to be aware of a raft of other new and recent legislation, such as the Electronic Communications Bill, the Competition Act, the European Distance Selling Directive, and e-commerce related changes to the Financial Services Authority sourcebook. "The impact of 'e' on regulation and legislation presents us with a new Computastars-like obstacle course," she said.

For Smith, an overriding issue is storage and retrieval of Web-based data. "We have to to keep data on transactions for up to nine years," she said, "but how do you store Web page data and get it back over this length of time? A 900-page Web site will have 900 factorial routes and the software will be upgraded. Can you be sure that you can recreate transactions?"

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