Privacy Policy and You

Privacy policies are a legal document that have been around for the past fifty years.  Every website has them and that means that yes, even your website needs one.  Lately, it’s come into the spotlight thanks to the new regulations released by the GDPR in the EU.

What exactly is a Privacy Policy?

A privacy policy is a legal document which, in basic forms, states what information you’re gathering and using and to whom you’re disclosing that information to.  This can be anything from names and phone numbers to highly sensitive information like medical records or tax information.  All of it is important to include in your privacy statements, and that’s especially true now.  Make sure that with any new changes to your site, you update your privacy policy accordingly, too.

What should my Privacy Policy say?

Well, lucky for you there are a ton of templates you can find online for different needs.  You will still have to add in your company/website name in certain areas but for the most part you can likely find a template that you can work with pretty easily.  That said, you need to make sure you think of three things when you’re looking.

How do you collect your information?  Are you using surveys?  Are you collecting from user profiles?  Chat logs?  Anything and everything that you’re using to collect information HAS to be stated.  The last thing you want is to miss something and have to deal with legal trouble.

How are you using this information?  Are you selling it to others?  Are you using it to process orders or to better help searching on your site?  Whatever your reason for gathering this information, you need to state that, too.  This gives users the ability to simply not do business with you if they don’t like what you’re doing with the information.

What can the customer control with their information?  Can they opt out of certain programs or mailing lists?  How can they contact you with questions?  Include all the pertinent information you can.  The more clear you make these sections, the better off you’ll be in the long run.  After all, nobody wants to do business with a company known for hiding their intentions.

It’s also helpful to note in your policy as to how you protect their information.  It does them some good as they’ll feel more secure and does you good by showing users that you care about keeping their data secure as well.

Ultimately, there’s no perfect privacy policy out there and you can’t just go copy a popular website’s.  You’ll have to do a little work yourself and come up with your own.  Hopefully though, with these tips, you’ll be able to do it without too much hassle!