Do you have (or need) a Privacy Policy?

privacy

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The response to my current blog series has been amazing, and it warms my heart to know I’m helping so many of you improve your websites.

Although today’s topic might not be as exciting as your Home page or some of your other web pages, a Privacy page is also very important, but in a different way.

Do you need a Privacy Policy?

Well, no, you don’t need one – if you don’t collect email addresses, use Google Analytics to track user data, or display third party ads.

In other words, yes, you do!

One of your most important tasks is to establish trusting relationships with your website visitors. Without a prominently displayed privacy policy that details how you collect, use, and protect their information, many people will be reluctant to fill out your contact form, sign up for your newsletter, or purchase your digital products.

Many jurisdictions have laws around online privacy, but even if they don’t apply to you directly, it’s in your best interest to alleviate any concerns your visitors may have about using your website.

What to put on your Privacy Policy page

Let me start by stating that I am not a legal expert by any stretch of the imagination, but my understanding is that your Privacy Policy should indicate:

  • What identifying information you collect and why you collect it
  • Whether your website uses cookies and for what reasons
  • How you will use the information you collect
  • With whom you may share the information you collect
  • How people may contact you with questions or concerns

For an example, feel free to view my Privacy Policy, which I created with an app called Termageddon. It’s super easy to use – you just have to fill out a questionnaire and it generates a Privacy Policy based on the answers you enter.

As an Agency Partner, I received my Termageddon license for free and will receive a commission if you sign up through my link, but to explore other options, simply search for “privacy policy generator.”

Next Steps

  1. Learn about Privacy Laws that apply to your website.
  2. Review your existing Privacy Policy and update it if necessary. If you don’t have a Privacy Policy yet, create one using Termageddon or an appropriate template.

If you’re joining me for the first time, I hope you’ll go back and read the previous posts in this series:

I’ll be back again soon with the next instalment.

Janet Barclay

I'm a Website Design and Care Specialist who loves helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Comments

  1. This post has me thinking – my website builder has a short, automatic statement we can plug in on the home page when people first visit, but it isn’t nearly as comprehensive as your policy page. I think I have some work to do! Thanks for this great information.

    • In the past, it was okay just to say something short and sweet like “we won’t share your information with anyone” but the laws are getting so much stricter. I don’t know of anyone who’s been penalized for not having one, but better safe than sorry, right?

  2. Thanks to YOU I have one! This is just standard for websites today, and important. Perhaps even more important for us as businesses to be mindful about how we are collecting and using the information readers provide. The whole concept of privacy seems to be changing across the globe right now, with contact tracing and the like. I wonder how this evolve over time!

  3. Clearly I have some work to do. I know that when people first go to my page, there is a statement about cookies and privacy. I’m not 100% sure how the collection of email addresses for the e-newsletter (which is done through Mailchimp) handles the privacy statement. Some of those were set up for me. But you now have me thinking that I need to do some further investigation to make sure that I’m in compliance and that people visiting my site are at ease and informed. Thank you, Janet.

    • You’re welcome, as always. We often avoid dealing with these things because they’re not as exciting as how our websites look or what they say, but sometimes we just have to, right?

  4. Thank you for sharing this information about the privacy policy pages. It’s essential nowadays. It reminded me to review my policy page, which I just did and modified some of the wording/images. Thanks again.

  5. I love this series Janet. So much to learn always. I need to visit this information more thoroughly for sure. I will put this on my list for this week. Thank you for what you do 🙂

  6. I hadn’t had a privacy policy until GDPR compliance came along, and then I used WordPress’ supplied template and then added bits and pieces as necessary for my Aweber- and Payloadz-based email collections, and for the blog’s comment section. Something like Termageddon would like have been a huge time-saver! Thank you for sharing this.

    • I know exactly what you mean, Julie – there are so many moving parts, and every time we add a new feature to our sites we need to think about how that might affect our privacy policy or other parts of the site.

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