On the 23rd of October, 2014 the Turkish Parliament adopted Law No. 6563 on the Regulation of Electronic Commerce, thus bringing new strict rules to areas consisting of online sales, commercial messages, and personal data protection.
The new law asserts that prior to concluding an agreement via electronic tools, the service provider shall present a) its identifier information in an accessible and up-to-date manner, b) the information regarding the technical steps that are required for the conclusion of the agreement, c) whether or not the agreement will be retained by the service provider, and if the buyer will gain access to the agreement afterwards and if so, for how long, d) the technical tools utilised for detecting and correcting data entry errors, e) the privacy terms and information regarding alternative dispute resolution mechanisms if any exists, f) in the case of having a membership in a professional chamber, its name and governing codes of conduct.
As for online orders, a) At the time of the approval of the order and before the payment details are entered, the service provider shall make the terms of agreement, including the total amount of payment, clear to the counterparty, b) the service provider will immediately confirm that the order has been received via electronic communication, c) the service provider, shall present the buyer, the appropriate, efficient and accessible tools to detect and correct the data entry errors before the order is placed.
Under this newly introduced law, e-commerce messages will only be sent if and only the consumer has given prior approval to receive them in line with the specific content defined. The message shall also contain a) the identifier information of the service provider and its contact information depending on the mean of communication, b) the subject and aim of the message and information on the actual sender if the message is sent on behalf of someone else. The consumers always have the right to withdraw their declaration on receiving commercial messages without the obligation to present any reason and the sender must provide an easy and free-of-charge opportunity to revoke prior approval by providing the details of the mentioned opportunity in the message.
Another strict provision consists of regulations regarding protection of personal data. Through such changes, the service provider and the mediator a) is responsible for storing and securing the personal information acquired through transactions comprised within this law, b) cannot transfer the personal data obtained to third parties or use it for other purposes without the buyer’s consent.
Service providers may receive penalty for each violation of the E-Commerce Law and be fined between 1.000 TRY and 15.000 TRY.
Intermediary service providers are under no obligation to supervise and determine the lawfulness of the content provided by other real persons or legal entities using their platform as well as the products and services provided by them regarding such content. A separate regulation is set to determine the intermediary service obligations.
The new law will enter into force on May 1, 2015.