New Year, New Privacy Policy

So we made it through January, the longest of the cold winter months! If you’re one for resolutions, this is when the going gets tough. As winter drags on, our resolve seems to slip away, and then Spring! And we’re all like “Hey another tray of Jalapeno poppers won’t hurt, I started exercising back in January!” Did you also resolve to add or update your Privacy Policy on your website?

Your Website Needs some Resolutions Too!

PRIORITIZE your resolution to add a PRIVACY POLICY to your website ASAP. There are many reasons for doing this:

  1. LEGAL COMPLIANCE: If you collect ANY information from your users, such as emails, names, registration for commenting on your site. IT IS THE LAW. EVERYWHERE.
  2. THIRD-PARTY SERVICES: It’s required by third-party services you may use, such as GOOGLE ANALYTICS, ADWORDS, iOS and ANDROID APPS, etc.
  3. BEST PRACTICE: Your Users are concerned more than ever about their PRIVACY and how their data is being stored. It’s a good faith gesture that demonstrates you care about their privacy as well

What If I do Not Collect Any Data at ALL?

It’s is also a best practice to clearly state that you do NOT collect any personal data from your website. This gives peace of mind to any User who is questioning their engagement with your website. And it keeps you COMPLIANT WITH PRIVACY LAWS.

How Do I Create A Privacy Policy?

  1. Consult Your Lawyer/ Legal Team– especially if you have a large site where a lot of data is being collected and stored, e-commerce is employed, or you are creating large databases of User information.
  2. Use an Online Privacy Policy generator. Some are free for small websites that are for personal use. However, for most Businesses or large non-profits expect to pay some nominal fees. These are easy to use templates.You provide your business or personal data which is used to auto-generate the Policy. Some online PP Generators I recommend are:
  3. Write Your Own– Be sure it meets all Privacy Policy requirements. Consider having a lawyer review it for accuracy.

Can I personalize the Privacy Policy after it is generated?

Yes. I added some additional language in my Privacy Policy after I downloaded the Policy as a Word Doc. I copied and pasted it into my website. It’s that easy!

Where Do I Display the Privacy Policy on my Website?

Some countries require or request that you provide an Opt-In that each user must click to proceed using the site. In the US it is acceptable to have the Privacy Policy in any easy to access Navigation Menu. Mine is in the Footer of every Page with my Terms and Conditions. It is also easily accessible through my Contact Page.

Am I also Required to publish a Terms and Conditions Policy?

No, not yet. However, this is another best practice that can limit your liability as an online business. Keep the two documents separate and link them to each other in the content of each policy. You can also generate Terms and Conditions Policies at one of the aforementioned websites. Again, I tweaked mine and added some information that is relevant to my business, such as my billing and payment terms for website design and print design. This is also a great place to layout your Client Expectations for timely delivery of assets and Final Proofing of any print or website design projects prior to publication.You can also mention any Affiliate Links through which you may receive compensation.

After meeting a lawyer at a conference for small business owners, I was advised to add Section 18- Governing Law which outlines terms of dispute resolution. That was an interesting item I had not considered prior to the session. It gave me great peace of mind to have professional legal advice in this matter.