-commerce, as an immutable reality in the new world order, presents both advantages and the potential for misuse. Transparency and reliability are crucial in this type of trade, where parties engage without seeing each other or the purchased goods or services. Therefore, the obligation to provide information in e-commerce is of great importance. The information obligations in e-commerce can be generally categorized into three groups: information obligation regarding the seller’s identity, information obligation regarding the order, and information obligation regarding personal data.
Firstly, according to the Law on the Regulation of Electronic Commerce in Turkish law, the seller is required to publish their current identification information on the homepage or under the “contact” heading in a way that the buyer can easily access it. This identification information includes details such as address, telephone number, and all other contact information, business name, any brand name, and tax identification number if applicable. In addition to identification information, information about the technical steps to be followed to establish a distance sales contract, information about how long the contract will be kept after its establishment, technical information for correcting input errors, and information about the applied privacy rules are also considered part of the seller’s information obligation. Failure to fulfill this obligation may result in a fine for sellers, ranging from 1,000.00 TL to 5,000.00 TL.
The information obligation regarding the order is also regulated by the Law on the Regulation of Electronic Commerce. According to this obligation, the seller must ensure that the terms of the contract, including the total amount to be paid, are clearly visible to the buyer before the order is confirmed and payment information is entered. Furthermore, the seller is required to provide the buyer with the necessary technical means to correct or cancel any errors in the data entered by the buyer and inform the buyer about these options. Sending confirmation information to the buyer indicating that the order has been received is also considered part of the seller’s information obligations regarding the order. If the seller fails to provide technical means for correcting or canceling data entry errors by the buyer or does not fulfill the obligation to inform the buyer about the receipt of the order, there is a possibility of a fine ranging from 1,000.00 TL to 10,000.00 TL for the seller.
The heaviest penalty in the information obligations in e-commerce comes from the obligation to inform about the protection of personal data. According to this obligation, the data controller (seller) is required to inform the buyer about their own identity and identification information, the purpose of processing personal data, to whom and for what purpose the processed data will be transferred, and the method and legal basis for collecting personal data. Violation of this obligation may result in fines for sellers ranging from 5,000.00 TL to 100,000.00 TL.