A high-level guide to writing Terms and Conditions for your website.
To ensure that consumer personal data is processed transparently, there are specific types of regulation for businesses operating around the world.
The European Union enacted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is considered the most stringent and protective privacy regulation globally to date. Since coming into effect in May 2018, it has revolutionized personal data protection and digital privacy.
This regulatory framework enhances the individual rights of European Union citizens and provides clarification on what organizations like the ones in the SaaS industry should do to safeguard these rights. Each company, no matter the location, has to comply with GDPR as long as they process data for EU residents.
Consumers are also protected by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office regulations. This privacy law applies to all businesses that collect user information like SaaS websites.
SaaS businesses need to collect some user information such as email and payment details in order to set up subscription or account plans. In addition, they might get more personal information such as personal preferences and location to improve on the customer experience.
Most privacy laws like the GDPR require businesses to reveal the categories of personal data collected.
During the sign-up process to a SaaS website, users will provide personal data such as;
On the other hand, SaaS companies also collect information automatically when you sign in. Some of the information may include:
You should only collect personal data that your SaaS business needs.
Once you have listed the data being collected, you need to describe how it’s collected. Your users need to know whether you are using automated procedures, mobile apps, email, online forms, or getting communication from third parties.
For instance, if you’ll be taking payment information from an eCommerce platform, you need to make the users aware of this information. According to laws in the GDPR, you don’t have to name every company that you share data with, but you can list the type of organizations.
While most consumers are not comfortable sharing their personal data in exchange for a better website experience, a poll shows that 50% of US adults accept all cookies when browsing. Cookies are commonly used by companies to monitor how users interact with their mobile apps and websites.
Furthermore, to avoid any legal issues, your SaaS business should have a detailed Cookies Policy on a different landing page on the website. This policy should have a list of all cookies used by your mobile app or website including the ones used by third-party partners such as shopping carts or advertisers.
Keep in mind that most people don’t know how cookies work; therefore, you should explain to the users in clear language. This will boost trust with your customers. You can avoid liability by ensuring that your business is as transparent as possible.
In addition, some third-party affiliates will need to access your customer database to accomplish their services. This creates privacy issues because they can see your user data.
Your SaaS business should have detailed information about how long they need to store personal data on their sites. To make this easier, you can draw a retention schedule. In addition, you can add a data retention clause for account management and subscriptions.
This clause provides detailed information regarding;
Additionally, you should also inform your users about the technologies and encryptions your website uses to protect the data. You should also disclose the certificates used by your website and your third-party partners.
This clause also informs users when they should expect communication from you and why it’s necessary. You should also include the method of communication; if you’ll use email or texts to send promotional messages. Additionally, you should include the process that users can follow to opt-out of communications in line with anti-spam laws.
Furthermore, you should include how the changes will be announced; whether via email, a blog post or other means. Ensure that your customers are informed about these changes on time to avoid any legal issues.
Every country has different regulations that govern how SaaS businesses should store personal information. Your business should comply with these regulations to avoid problems. You should also inform your users that your SaaS company complies with these laws and disclose whether you have a certificate to prove it.
In most cases, SaaS websites add this link in the website footer to make it accessible by every user. This is common practice on most websites; therefore, a lot of users will automatically check this part.
For many years, most website privacy policies were too long and difficult for users to understand. In addition, most website owners would copy and paste generic website privacy policies from other SaaS websites, resulting in inaccurate policies.
There’s a lot more to a SaaS business than just launching a product. There are compliance issues to consider, and you may need to create cookie policies, privacy policies, disclaimer policies, and more for your website. As a business owner, you should consider these laws to avoid legal repercussions and whether you must comply with privacy laws in the countries you do business.