Here’s Why You Need a Privacy Policy on Your Website

privacy policy

What is website privacy?

privacy policy is a document that details what personal information you collect from your users, how you use it, and how you keep it private. … Data privacy laws usually require that anyone collecting personal information via their website needs to have a statement on how and why they do so.

Do All Websites Need a Privacy Policy?

To have clarity around the need for a privacy policy:

  1. Check out if your country requires it in this list 
    A privacy policy could be required if you live in their jurisdiction, or if you collect information from their citizens.
  2. Some third party services would require that you have a privacy policy. There could be many services collecting info through tour site Eg. Google AdSense and Amazon Affiliates and they will also require you to have a privacy policy.
  3. Best practice, transparency and honesty. It is just the right thing to do… share openly what you do wht the data you collect and how you use it. The use and collection of data without consent or in a deceitful / devious way could even be illegal in many countries.

If you collect data and you are online/global you probably should have a privacy policy…

 

What to include?

In general, most privacy policy laws require you to inform your users of:

  • Your name (or business name), location, and contact information
  • What information you’re collecting from them (including names, email addresses, IP addresses, and any other information)
  • How you’re collecting their information, and what you’re going to use it for
  • How you’re keeping their information safe
  • Whether or not it’s optional for them to share that information, how they can opt-out, and the consequences of doing so
  • Any third-party services you’re using to collect, process, or store that information (such as an email newsletter service, or advertising network)

For Google Adsense, your policy needs to inform your users:

  • Google and other third party vendors use cookies to serve ads based on a user’s prior visits to your website.
  • Google’s use of the DoubleClick cookie (a cookie that is activated when users visit a partner’s website and view or click on an ad) enables Google and its partners to serve ads to your users based on their visit to your sites and/or other sites on the Internet.
  • Users can opt out of the use of the DoubleClick cookie for interest-based advertising by visiting Google Ads Settings.
  • Inform them of any third-party vendors and ad networks serving ads on your site, and provide a link to them.
  • Inform your users that they may visit those websites to opt out of the use of cookies for interest-based advertising (if the vendor or ad network offers this capability). Alternatively, you can direct users to opt out of some third-party vendor’s use of cookies for interest-based advertising by visiting aboutads.info.

For Amazon Affiliates, you’ll need to inform your users:

  • How you collect, use, store, and disclose data collected from users
  • That third parties (including Amazon or other advertisers) may serve content and advertisements, collect information directly from users, and place or recognize cookies on their browsers

Try to keep your privacy policy short and concise, and easy to understand. Keep it simple and easy to understand.

Some useful Resources

  • Privacy fact sheet 17: Australian Privacy Principles
  • Privacy Policy Generator  This tool will generate a free privacy policy for you as long as your site is non-commercial. If you earn money from your site, there’s a nominal fee for the privacy policy. The service asks about your country and other details to make sure the resulting policy includes all the required information to be in compliance with the law.
  • European Union Data Protection Directive of 1995  protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data
  • There is a free tool that I haven’t used but has great reviews Free Policy Creator. Their promise is to help you effectively protect your customers privacy, while limiting your liability, all while adhering to the most notable state and federal privacy laws and 3rd party initiatives.
  • A great and very simple example of a general site Australia.com privacy policy
  • Shopify Privacy Policy Generator: a good one if you have an e-commerce site.

 

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