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E-Compliance: Towards a Roadmap for Effective Risk Management



In the past decade, the legal system has done a remarkable job in absorbing the shockwaves of digital technology. As a result, the use of information and communication technologies in corporate settings in general and E-Business solutions in particular have become business as usual not only for dot-com managers, but increasingly also for inhouse lawyers and outside counsel.

The authors of this article, however, argue that the widespread use of digital communication technology on the part of business organizations leads at least in part (and most likely also latently) to new types of challenges when it comes to the management of risks at the intersection of law, technology, and the marketplace. In order to effectively manage these challenges and associated risks in diverse areas such as security, privacy, consumer protection, IP, and content governance, the authors call for an integrated and comprehensive compliance concept in response to the structural and substantive peculiarities of the digital environment in which corporations - both in and outside the dot-com industry - operate today.

The article starts with a brief overview of what we might describe as a shift from traditional compliance to e-Compliance. It then maps the central themes of E-Compliance and the characteristics of a comprehensive E-Compliance strategy. After discussing the key challenges of E-Compliance, the article outlines practical guidelines for the management of E-Compliance activities and ends with recommendations.