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Disclosure statements often contain mandatory information which either the law requires to be published by the owner or administrator of a website (or the author of material, data or other information contained on a website) or where the community would ordinarily expect to be published on the website.

Online disclosure statements are of a cautionary or advisory nature, and they seek to put the reader of the website (or the user of the internet database of information archive) on notice of some limitation on part of the website and its content. Most frequently, these disclosure statements may state that data might be of a generalist nature and not relied upon for professional reasons. Sometimes, the website disclosure statements may clarify that the information may be limited in use for reason of potentially being out of date, or not relevant in certain geographic jurisdictions. Other times a disclosure statement may simply highlight that the owner, author or administrator of the website and its information or data may have a vested interest in providing the information to the public.

Online disclosure statements on websites seek to limit the liability of website owners, authors or administrators when visitors access that information and act upon it. The actions may be to use the information in some way that affects the website visitor’s rights, liabilities, duties or responsibilities. Should the disclosure statement not be published on the website, the visitor who has used that information may have a claim against the website owner, administrator or the author of the information for any loss or damage caused as a result of the visitor’s use of that information and data.

Websites today proliferate almost all facets of human activity, both personal and commercial. One will rarely find a business which does not have some kind on online presence. Where businesses are large and developed, they may either have an integrated business model which encompasses different yet closely related business interests. Conflicts of interest may occur in these situations. Visitors who are drawn to the services of such a business would in fairness expect to be made aware of certain matters. That knowledge may induce them to deal with the business differently, if at all. Failure to make such disclosures can give rise to a liability.

An individual who feels that he may have been induced to retain the services of a business, but would otherwise have chosen a different business in light of certain facts that were not made available to him and may have a claim at law. It is possible that the failure of disclosing pertinent information to a potential client at the point of retainer may be unprofessional conduct, professional misconduct, negligence or professional negligence. A website disclosure solicitor will need to be retained for legal advice on the failure to disclose relevant information before any action can be taken to prosecute a case. Likewise a website disclosure lawyer will be able to assess a claim made against an individual who has been accused of failing to disclose information online.

Drafting a website disclosure policy may be a delicate process which should optimally be done under legal supervision and guidance. A solicitor or lawyer who has experience dealing with online and internet based legal matters, and especially one who has experience in civil and commercial litigation, will be able to assess the needs of the client and design a disclosure policy that is specifically catered to the nature and character of the website and the information that will be stored there.

If you require assistance with a matter involving a question concerning online disclosures, you may wish to contact our firm by telephone on (02) 9233 4048 or email info@navado.com.au and make an appointment to see one of our solicitors.

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This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.

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