How To Write A Privacy Policy

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Wondering what privacy policy is all about? How to write a privacy policy? What legal requirements govern privacy policies? You'll find answers to your worries in this article.

Technological advancement has made data privacy a leading topic of discussion. The digital age has caused internet users to consciously and unconsciously share their personal details online. Therefore, these people deserve to know how you use their private information.

It is relatively challenging to regulate data privacy, particularly with the rapidly increasing websites and varying privacy laws. If your mobile app or website gathers personal information from users, regardless of the type of reason, you need to write a privacy policy. This article comprehensively explores everything you need to know about privacy policies, including how to write a privacy policy.

What Is a Written Privacy Policy?

A privacy policy is the legal statement on a website, firm, or mobile app’s that explains how they collect, handle, process and respect their users’ personal data. Privacy policies specify the type of information they collect, how they collect it, and what they do with it.

Privacy policies will also specify if they share your information with third-party websites, firms, sellers, researchers, etc.

Simply put, a privacy policy is a legal contract between a website or organization and its users on how they manage personal information.

Information which may be collected includes:

  • Names
  • Location – geo-localization, IP address.
  • Email and postal addresses.
  • Date of birth.
  • Payment details.

Here is an article to learn more about privacy policies.

How To Write a Privacy Policy – Step by Step

Writing a privacy policy doesn't have a "one-way" formula, especially because all businesses are in different stages and require different information from their users. However, you can follow the step-by-step guide below to learn how to write a privacy policy for your website or application.

Step 1: Specify the type of information to collect from your users or visitors.

When reading a privacy policy, one of the major things your users want to know is what part of their personal data you are collecting. You must consider this when planning to write your privacy policy. List out all of the information you will need to collect for your website or application to operate.

You can check the above for the types of information you may collect from your users.

Step 2: Explain why you are collecting the information.

Explain to your users why you need to collect their information. Your users deserve to know why.

Is it a part of their activity on your website or mobile app? If not, why is it being collected? Do you want to help personalize their experience on your website? Your users or visitor deserve to know why their information is collected.

Step 3: How do you plan to collect this information?

Another major thing to consider when learning how to write a privacy policy is specifying how you want to collect your users’ information. You can collect data in a variety of ways, including but not limited to cookies, surveys, order forms, account registrations, and more. A privacy policy that doesn’t mention how data will be collected is technically incomplete.

Step 4: Specify the use of your users’ information and how accessible it is to third parties.

Help your users understand what you will use their information for and any parties that can access the data. If you plan to allow third parties to access the data (i.e. sell it to third parties, use a platform to analyze it, etc), you must have the consent of the user whose data you’re collecting while granting them the option to either agree to or prohibit how you plan to use it.

Other things to specify at this stage of writing your privacy policy is how long you plan to keep their information, who can access such information in your database, etc.

Step 5: Explain the update possibilities to your privacy policy.

Specify how you will inform your users or visitors whenever you update your privacy policy. Updates may include a change to how you collect, store, and use data. You must also explain how you will let them know if you plan to use their data for other reasons apart from those already specified in the privacy policy.

Consent is vital - you must get it from your visitors and users at all points.

Step 6: Explain how you protect your user information.

Apart from seeking consent, your users must know how you plan to protect their information, especially with the rapidly increasing rates of cyber-attacks.

Let them know how protected their data is and how you plan to proactively protect it. This includes stating whether you are using secured files and physical access controls, computer safeguards, SSL, etc. If this gets too technical for you, feel free to contact a technology lawyer who can guide you through the process.

Here is an article on how to write a privacy policy.

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What’s Typically Included in a Privacy Policy?

Depending on your business or how your application or website works, what’s included in a privacy policy can vary. Some factors include the nature of your business, where you operate, your customers’ location, applicable local laws, and more.

Some elements are relatively standard and commonly found in most privacy policies, however. If you want to write your privacy policy yourself, you must consider including these details in your document before publishing it on your website or mobile application.

  • Personal information : this includes data you collect from your users or visitors, whether directly, indirectly, manually, or automatically. Such information may include name, phone numbers and email addresses, credit card details, etc.
  • Data collection method : this involves transparency, letting your users know how you plan to collect their information. Your privacy policy must include how you collect personal information, including whether you are tracking their geographical locations, partnering with any third-party service, etc.
  • Data usage : your privacy policy must include what you plan to use your visitors’ private information for. Is it for advertisement purposes or a legal basis, personalized and improved customer experience, for payment processing, etc.?
  • Data Security: all privacy policies must specify the data protection system they have put in place. Cybersecurity has become a pandemic, and every website or mobile app owner must ensure their customers’ or users’ privacy isn’t breached due to their inappropriate data security system.
  • Policy Updates: you should include how you will notify your users of policy updates.

Other elements to include in a privacy policy are:

  • Data storage and data sharing.
  • Use of cookies.
  • Data subject rights.
  • Contact details.

Here is an article on what you should include when writing a privacy policy.

Who Needs a Privacy Policy?

Anyone who collects personal information from visitors of their websites or users of their mobile application needs a privacy policy. You’ll find this supported by various privacy laws worldwide. Learn more about GDPR compliance and the CCPA , which are two notable data privacy regulations. Your business privacy policy must be uploaded to your website or your mobile app, as the case may be.

Who Writes a Privacy Policy?

Privacy lawyers are the best fit to help you develop a privacy policy for your website or mobile app. Privacy lawyer are trained in data privacy issues and can help you determine what is legal and what isn’t, as well on consult what you need to include in your privacy policy based on how your business works.

Post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to get free bids from privacy lawyers to write your privacy policy. All lawyers are vetted by our team and peer reviewed by our customers for you to explore before hiring.

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