One of the most delicate issues concerning Internet use today involves user privacy. It’s a fundamental right, and rightfully so, considering just how much personal information is knowingly and unknowingly given out on the world wide web.
- Location (IP addresses, geolocation)
- Financial information (payment details)
- Social Security number
- Addresses (postal and email)
We’ve already discussed two, but there’s also the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, a Canadian law regulating Internet privacy, and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which is a US federal law you should take special note of if you have children as users to avoid ending up like Google and YouTube, which had to pay $170 million to the Federal Trade Commission for violating child privacy laws.
- Or a link to it should appear on the website’s home page
- Should detail how the website handles “Do Not Track” requests
- Should contain info on the use of third parties who collect user data through the website
Examples of such third parties include Google Analytics, Google AdSense, Google Play, Apple App Store, advertising plug-ins, and email newsletter services.
- Process data in an ethical manner
- Advise users of the eight rights they’re allotted under the GDPR
- Comply with data retention rules by storing data for only as long as needed
- Your business name and contact information
- What data you collect
- How you collect data
- Why you collect data
- How users can opt out
- How your data is shared with a third party
- How long you retain the data
- How you’ll protect the data you collect
- What the dispute resolution process is
- What will happen if your business transfers ownership
You should research whatever the specific requirements for your business are when it comes to privacy policies. This depends on the audience, region, and third-party services used. Make yourself acquainted with policies from other sites to get an idea of what to do. Be careful not to plagiarize, however.
Now it’s time to draft a policy. You can do it yourself or use a free generator to help you create a policy template, such as Getterms, which is excellent for GDPR compliance, or iUbenda, which offers California Consumer Privacy Act, GDPR, and Australian Privacy Principles compliance.
3. Go legal
Note that you don’t always have to use strict legal language. You can instead use straightforward and plain language.
You can save yourself a lot of work by using a free or premium policy generator. Here’s what you need to do:
- Fill in your details: web address, business name, and email address.
- Select the acts that need to be included in your legal documents.
- Next, select your preferred language.
- Submit the request.
Small businesses are under the same umbrella as the big corps when it comes to privacy policies. It can be a little harrowing for a small-business owner to start thinking up policies coupled with running a business, but it’s essentially the same processes enlisted above that you need to follow. In addition to those steps, make sure that you:
- Never ask for more information than is necessary. If your operations don’t require use of a customer’s date of birth, then don’t ask for it.
- Write in plain, understandable language.
- Customize your policy according to your business needs.
- Implement good information practices.
You could use a terms of service generator to write your terms of service. These agreements typically have:
- A brief introduction
- The effective date
- Jurisdiction/governing law
- Contact information
- Limitation of liability and disclaimer of warranties
- Rules of conduct
- User restrictions
- Account termination information
Your business itself can affect the cost of privacy policies, seeing as each business has different needs that have to be considered.
User-generated content is also known as user-created content. The term refers to content that is made and published by social media platform users. It essentially uses a company’s users as its brand advertisers and can be used for various purposes, such as product review websites, blogs, social networking sites, and multimedia content platforms. UGC or UCC takes a variety of forms, from videos to texts. If you use UGC, then it’s likely your costs will be higher, as your legal needs are more complex.
Additional factors include the scope of personal information collected and managed, if and how you process online payments, whether your website is integrated with third parties, and the location and age of your visitors.
- Your products or services should be designed to minimize, manage, or eliminate privacy risks
- Collect and retain de-identified data where possible
- Always get consent for new uses and sharing of personal info
- Beware of the third parties with which you share personal info and their privacy practices
- Be prepared for data breaches
- Collect personal information directly
- Protect the personal information you have