How to Create Website Privacy Policy for your Online Business


How to Create Website Privacy Policy for your Online Business

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Privacy policies, particularly website privacy policies, have become essential for every business website. They give your customers peace of mind by letting them know exactly how and why you collect and use their personal information. Moreover, they are required by law in most countries and states.

What is a Website Privacy Policy?

Website Privacy Policy on PC

A website privacy policy is a critical component that most online businesses incorporate. It represents a commitment to the protection of user data and assures visitors of the website’s intentions and actions surrounding their personal information.

  • Definition: A website privacy policy is a written document hosted on your site that specifies data handling practices. It clearly communicates what type of data is collected, why it’s collected, and how it’s used, establishing a framework of transparency for visitors and customers.
  • Main Goals of a Privacy Policy:
    • Transparency: Ensure that visitors have clarity regarding their data’s collection and usage.
    • Trust-Building: Foster trust by showcasing your business’s commitment to privacy and data protection.
    • Legal Compliance: Adhere to international and local data protection regulations, avoiding legal repercussions.
    • Business Integrity: Highlight the ethical practices of the business, which can enhance reputation and customer loyalty.
  • Potential Pitfalls of Not Having a Privacy Policy:
    • Legal Ramifications: Many regions require businesses to have a clear privacy policy. Non-compliance can lead to fines and lawsuits.
    • Loss of Consumer Trust: Visitors may be wary of websites that don’t clarify their data usage, leading to decreased engagement and sales.
    • Operational Challenges: Without clear guidelines on data use, businesses might face internal confusion, leading to data mishandling.
    • Competitive Disadvantage: Many consumers prioritize their privacy. Without a clear policy, a business may be at a disadvantage compared to competitors that emphasize data protection.

Benefits and Risks of Website Privacy Policies

The table below provides a summary of the benefits and challenges of website privacy policies:

riesBenefits of Having a Privacy PolicyRisks of Not Having a Privacy Policy
Purpose- Transparency - Trust-Building - Legal Compliance - Business Integrity- Legal Ramifications - Loss of Consumer Trust - Operational Challenges - Competitive Disadvantage
Consumer Relations- Enhanced customer trust - Clear communication with users - Increased loyalty- Distrust from visitors - Miscommunication or lack of communication - Potential loss of business
Operational Clarity- Clear internal data guidelines - Streamlined data management processes- Internal confusion - Potential data mishandling
Competitive Edge- Ethical advantage - Compliance attractiveness- Falling behind competitors - Potential legal non-compliance notices

Here’s a word from Flux Academy about how to easily add a website privacy policy to your online business that you can check out after reading:

 

Website Privacy Policy Example

You may want to see what one looks like before writing a privacy policy for your website. Most privacy policies include a few key sections. These include information collection practices and how that information is shared or used. They also include details about how users can control the use of their information. And they incorporate cybersecurity or cookie policies.

Your website privacy policy may vary depending on how you use customer data. But check out this basic example. And you can see what a simple privacy policy might look like:

What Information We Collect and Use

We collect and access information that you provide voluntarily. And we alone own this information. We will not sell or rent it to any third party. We only use your information as a means for contacting you directly. Or we may use it to delivering products and services. We may also use it to better tailor offers to you in the future.

We may use your information to contact you in the future with special offers or updates to our privacy policy. However, you possess the option to opt-out or unsubscribe from this communication at any time.

How to Access and Control Your Information

You can also opt-out of our communication system at any time. Simply contact us via phone or email. Contact us to find out what information we have collected from you. Then change your personal data. Or you can ask us to delete your information from our database. You can also express other concerns.

Security and Cookies

Website Privacy Policy Cookies

We use cookies to collect information about visitors so we can better tailor offers on our website to your preferences. You have the option to block access at any time.

Any section of our website that collects sensitive information, such as payment details, is encrypted for your protection. We also take steps to protect your information offline. Only employees that need your information for payment verification purposes are able to access it.

If you have concerns about this policy, contact us via phone or email.

Website Privacy Policy Generators

Of course, your privacy policy should look a bit different than that example based on your specific data collection and use. To create a description that is suited to your specific business, you might consider using a generator. Here are a few of the options.

  • Free Privacy Policy Generator. Free Privacy Policy Generator is a no-cost tool that allows you to quickly create a custom description for your site. Just answer a few quick questions about your business and it will generate a text that is compliant with the most common privacy laws.
  • TermsFeed. TermsFeed offers a wide array of policies for everything from websites to mobile apps and even SaaS platforms. You can select the one that most closely describes your business and make sure it complies with all the relevant laws.
  • Termly. Termly can help you generate a variety of different policies, including privacy policies, terms of use, disclaimers and cookie consent forms.
  • Shopify. Shopify offers an option that’s made for ecommerce sites. If you sell on the platform or have your own product based site, you simply fill in a few details and come out with a compliant policy. You don’t even need a Shopify account to use it.

Website Privacy Policy Templates

Website Privacy Policy Templates

You might also consider using a privacy policy template. This allows you to simply fill in blanks or customize parts of an existing text. It’s important to find one that’s relevant to your business and compliant with all of the necessary privacy laws that relate to your business. Here are a few to consider.

  • Termly. Termly offers a downloadable privacy policy template that you can use to fill in your own information. This is a basic format that can be customized to nearly any type of business.
  • Upcounsel. Upcounsel is a legal services provider that offers a fill-in-the-blank option for websites that use user-generated content. The site also goes into detail about what is required in a privacy policy and why every business needs one.
  • Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau offers a fairly general sample that you can edit to suit the needs of your specific business.
  • Legal Templates. Legal Templates offers a free and fairly lengthy privacy policy template. The site also includes some insights about customizing your own policy and making it work for your business.

Website Privacy Policy Updates

Website Privacy Policy

You should look over your privacy policy at least once per year or whenever you change your data collection or sharing practices. It’s also essential for you to update your policies whenever a major change to a privacy law affects your business.

For example, the General Data Protection Regulation was implemented in 2018 for all businesses that collect data from customers across the EU. This meant that every business that operated within the EU or with customers from the EU during that time frame needed to update their policies to comply with the new law.

Image: Depositphotos.com



Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.