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Why do I need a privacy policy?

Understanding and respecting privacy is more important than ever in our increasingly public digital world. But creating a privacy policy is an important but often confusing task.

As a business owner, app developer or blogger unsure about what a privacy policy is, what information is required, and whether you actually needs on, here’s a simple breakdown of what you need to know.

What is a website privacy policy?

A website privacy policy is a written statement on how your business collects, uses and secures information about visitors to your website. No two policies are the same, just like how no two businesses are the same. Each must be customised according to the way a business operates and handles data, and to the customers they interact with.

For instance, if your business is based in Australia and you collect information about customers who live in the EU, your website privacy policy will need to account for local legislation in the European Union.

With that said, a transparent policy should explain to users:

  • What information your business collects about them and why. This could include personal data such as names, email addresses, credit card details or browsing activity.
  • How you collect their data, including the use of cookies.
  • Where and how you store their data.
  • Which third parties your business may share data with.
  • How they will be notified of any changes to your policy.
  • Their rights in accessing, updating or removing their personal information.
  • The risks associated with sharing their data on your website or app and the steps they should take to protect their privacy.
  • How your business keeps their data safe.
  • Your contact details.

Why is a privacy policy important?

A privacy policy is designed to hold businesses accountable and ensure they act in the best interests of their customers.

In the wake of numerous data breach and abuse scandals by the likes of Facebook, Uber, and other companies who handle some of the most sensitive details about us, both regulators and consumers grow increasingly concerned with how their data is used and protected online.

The demand for greater data transparency, security and user consent has given rise to tougher legislation such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

While customer data is one of the most valuable assets a business can have, laws like the GDPR provide users with greater control and protection of their privacy.

Why do I need a website privacy policy?

Having a privacy policy is a legal requirement in most countries. Without one, as a worst-case scenario, your business could get hit with a hefty fine and your website taken down, especially if you’re found to be in breach of local privacy laws.

Additionally, some content services and third-party platforms may request a privacy policy before they agree to work with you. Instagram, for example, asks for a link to your privacy policy when you request full access for your app. And some digital marketplaces, such as Google Play and the App Store, require a privacy policy for any app that handles personal or sensitive user data.

Creating and enforcing a suitable policy ensures your business won’t get into any legal trouble or unwittingly engage in practices that put customer privacy at risk.

For customers, seeing a policy that clearly explains how their data is used and kept safe builds their trust in your business.

Even if you don’t collect any personal data from your customers, it’s still a good idea to have a policy that reassures them that your business doesn’t do so.

Protect your business and your customers now

Use GetTerms.io to generate a simple privacy policy for your website within seconds. Create your free website privacy policy.

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