Privacy policy laws vary from country to country. If you have a business website that is collecting any sort of personal data such as, name, email addresses, or even analytics tracking, then you do need to have a privacy policy.

Privacy laws in the United States

There really aren’t any federal laws that require a privacy policy, but most online services do require you to have a privacy policy if you use their services on your website. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does regulate data privacy on all consumers in the United States.

Why your business site needs a privacy policy

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It is important for your business website to have a privacy policy because it informs visitors what information you are collecting about them and how you are using that data.

For example, if your business website is using Google Analytics to track visitor data then you must include a privacy policy on your site. Google Analytics Terms of Service requires you post a privacy policy notice that states it is utilizing cookies to collect data. If you are tracking users with Google Analytics and don’t have a privacy policy then you are violating Google’s Terms of Service.

Google can disable your services if you are found to be in violation of their Terms of Service, and you will need to appeal their decision if you want to continue tracking visitors on your website.

Email addresses are personal data

Does your website collect email addresses for email newsletters? If so, then you still need a privacy policy on your website because an email address is considered personal data.

The privacy policy should include instructions for how to opt out or unsubscribe from the newsletter with a link to do so.

What should be in your privacy policy

Your privacy policy should include exactly what data you are collecting from users and visitors, and how your company is using that data. The privacy policy should clearly state how your company is protecting the data that is being collected (you’re not sharing it, selling it or opting them into services or communications they don’t want), and if you are sharing data then a clear explanation of what is being shared and with whom.

The privacy policy must also explain how users can control the data they submit and full instructions for opting out of providing personal information, and it must also show an effective date of the privacy policy.

Where can I get a privacy policy?

You can write your own website policy, but you probably shouldn’t. A privacy policy needs to take into account all the different ways your website is collecting and using personal data.

There are good resources available online for creating a privacy policy, but you should consider hiring a professional to write a privacy policy that’s customized to your business website.*

Do you need assistance posting your privacy policy to your website? Contact Sublime Creations today to schedule a 30-minute consultation to discuss how Sublime Creations can help.

* I am not an attorney, nor should this article be construed as advice. It is up to you to use your best judgment when writing or hiring a professional to write a privacy policy for your business.

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