- How it collects user data
- How it handles user data
- How it processes user data
- How it protects its users’ data
In today’s digital-centric era, most mobile applications, desktop applications, and web applications collect customers’ data for analytics and marketing purposes.
In industries like e-commerce, customers share personal information that could jeopardize their financial and personal security if leaked. Even blogs should include a terms and conditions page about how the site they’re hosted on collects and processes readers’ data.
1. Identify the Site or App Owner
The privacy agreement should begin with the clear identification of the site or app owner. If this is an individual, then their first and last legal names, along with the names of the site and app, should be clearly stated.
A company can use its name if it is a legally registered business entity. However, individuals running sites or apps must include their name if they do not have a DBA (doing business as) or are otherwise registered as a business in their state or province.
2. Effective Date of the Policy
Enforceability is an integral part of any user agreement ; it ensures that all parties are in mutual understanding of the terms and conditions, as well as any obligations they agree to by assenting to the contract.
3. Customer Data Collected
Data collection is an enormous concern for customers today. Breaches and cyberattacks can result in personal data losses, financial ruin, and even identity theft.
To build trust and demonstrate respect, a company can outline how data is collected and what type of data the company collects.
It is important to note that the data you collect and how you collect it will have limitations based on your location. Legal obligations regarding digital data collection companies must follow to avoid breaking the law. These include:
- The Federal Trade Commission Act
- The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
- The Electronic Communications Privacy Act
- The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act
Furthermore, states often have guidelines safeguarding internet users’ privacy. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is often used nationwide as a template for companies’ privacy policies.
Here is an article about the CCPA and user rights.
4. How the Data Is Used
A company should clearly state how it uses the data it collects from its customers. For example, will this data be used for personalized advertising, marketing, or other uses?
Common uses for customer data are:
- Improving products or services
- Improving customer experience through behavioral data analysis
- Refining a marketing strategy
- Securing personal data by learning to capture and recognize specific users’ input
Here is an article that explores how businesses use data in various contexts.
5. Data Storage and Protection
Will consumer data be cloud-hosted or hosted locally? What protective measures are in place to protect their personal information from theft? A company must protect the following user information from third parties:
- Email addresses
- Uploaded media
Safeguarding this information is a vital part of customer assurance. It also influences how compliant a company is with specific privacy laws.
Even elements like data portability and the ability to move data from one application or hosting site to another are important considerations.
6. Tracking Tools
Specify what tracking tools your product, website, or application uses to record and collect users’ data. Standard tracking tools include:
- Adobe Analytics
- Google Analytics
- Facebook Conversion Pixels
- Unique identifier IDs (IDFAs)
Although web trackers are legal, businesses must follow limitations and regulations. Furthermore, consumers should always be fully aware of how a company intends to collect their data and what type of data each tracking tool collects.
Here is an article that explores how to track website users legally.
7. Third-Party Access
Here is an article about third-party access in privacy policies under the GDPR and CCPA regulations.
8. Opt-Out Clause
An opt-out clause gives users the right to withdraw or remove their information from the company’s data collection processes.
For example, a user may unsubscribe from a company’s mailing list or wish to opt out of sharing their usage data with an app developer.
Opt-out is also known as “consent withdrawal.” This is because it protects the user’s data by giving them complete freedom and control over what information they share.
Opt-out clauses are legally required in most situations. For example, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 requires all businesses and individuals that send commercial emails in the United States to offer an unsubscribe option to their recipients.
Here is an article that explores opt-ins and opt-outs in privacy policies further.
9. Description of Process for Changes and Updates to the Policy
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