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Privacy Policies: A Quick Guide

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2 minute read

Key Elements of a Privacy Policy

A privacy policy can take many forms, but in our modern world, it is typically a statement on a company website clarifying how personal data is collected, stored, protected, and used. This data can encompass various points, but it should include names, addresses, emails, IP addresses, phone numbers, date of birth, and all financial information.

If your company has a website, chances are high that you must have a privacy policy. Even if all your site is doing is tracking locations, that is still personal data. Nearly every country in the world mandates privacy policies.

Does your website not have one yet? Don’t panic; instead, work with a contract lawyer to draft yours. It should contain the following elements:

Types of Data Collected

Visitors to your site have a legal right to know what types of personal data you collect. The scope should be broad. So, even if you only collect credit card information when a purchase is made, that still needs to be disclosed in your general privacy policy.

How You Use the Data

There must be absolute transparency about how your company is using the data it collects. This encompasses everything from tracking cookies to email lists. Should your company share data with third parties, make this abundantly clear. Not doing so is a grave error that could result in significant legal ramifications.

Data Storage and Security

If you are collecting data, you are storing it somehow. Visitors to your website have the right to know that you are storing their data, as well as what steps you are taking to protect it. While this is most critical when the data is related to payments, this cannot be skipped even if your site doesn’t offer transaction capabilities. If you aren’t sure how the data is being protected, this is a sign that you need to consult with a technology security expert.

Opt-Out Procedures

Website visitors also have the right to opt-out of data collection at any time. For example, if you use it for email lists, there needs to be an opt-out option in each email. Your privacy policy must clarify how to access the opt-out process for any form of data collection.

Company Contact Info

Visitors should not struggle to figure out how to contact your company about any privacy concerns they have. To facilitate this, your privacy policy must give your company name, website, physical address, and contact email.

Get a Privacy Policy Tailored to Your Needs

Whether you already have a privacy policy that could use improvement or never realized you needed one, a contract attorney near you can help. With their guidance, you can develop a policy that protects your business and aligns with the ever-changing laws.

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