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Privacy Policies - Does My Website Need One? And How Do I Get One?

By TaSha Franklin

A privacy policy is a legal document that discloses some or all of the ways a party gathers, uses, discloses and manages a customer's data.

Depending on what type of website you have, whether or not you collect personal information from users,  either explicitly or implicitly, the answer in most cases is, yes, you do need a privacy policy. Even if your website does not require the user to provide personal information, such as name, address, email, credit card info; the use of session or permanent cookies and other technical data collection mechanisms  could be considered a collection of personal information.

Privacy Policy Regulations

-Information and Data Privacy, which requires the business or website to make certain that it has not and will not leak, give, or sell to any other party.

-Child Privacy; if a child is 13 years or younger, the law prohibits collection of any personal data. When retrieving information, you can request an age to continue. If the user supplies a false age, your site is not liable.

-Consent; the policy should detail what will be done with their personal information, and ask for consent before continuing or prior to any changes. 

-Right to stop; all visitors and/or subscribers should have the right to cease communications and the receipt of advertisements. There should be an unsubscribe link on the site, as well as in any email advertisement sent to the individual.

How to Get a Privacy Policy

You can research other secure sites and read their privacy policies; however I would not advocate copying any of these word for word.   If building your own does not satisfy you, there are also several high-quality FREE templates available online. For instance, Serprank advertises a privacy policy generator, as well as TRUSTe Privacy. These generators help by asking you some questions about what your website's purpose is, and from there it generates a custom policy.

 In the end, it's all about being upfront and fair. You will find customers will be more willing to give personal or business information about themselves if they feel it will be handled the right way and kept secure.



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