In this digital age, you’ve likely ignored your fair share of privacy policies (they’re usually located at the bottom of the website), and there’s a pretty good chance that you completely glossed over it for your business too…no judgement here. So now that YOU have a website, you may be wondering:

Do I need a privacy policy? Short answer: Yes. 

In fact, your privacy policy could be one of the most important parts of your website! If you don’t believe me, here are just few examples of regulations that require a privacy policy:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) takes consumer privacy seriously and they won’t hesitate to prosecute companies, both big and small. That being said, let’s get into some things you should consider as you create your privacy policy.

What exactly is a privacy policy?

Good question! Basically, a privacy policy should let your customers know what type of data you’re collecting from them, what you’re actually doing with that data, and general information about how you’re collecting that data (did someone say cookies?).

Another important piece of the puzzle is how you’re storing your customer data and for how long. Your policy should be clear on data possession and your timeline. Also, keep in mind, depending on where your company is located, you may need to include where the data is being stored.

Okay, stay with me, just a few more things…

Let’s talk about who has access to the customer’s data. Your policy should include information on if you share customer data with other companies or third parties, and if so, you should provide the customer with an easy way to opt-out. Finally, make sure that you include an outline of the security measures that you are taking to safeguard customer data, either by you or the vendors you use.  Make sure that the policy is clear and explicit so that your consumers can actually understand it. 

Wait, do I need to write this myself?!

Ultimately, this is your decision…I would write this myself because I am a lawyer, literally, I have my law degree. However, if you haven’t passed the bar yet, we have a couple of other options to consider:

  • More money, less time? Consult a legal professional.
  • More time, less money? Do your research and write your own privacy policy. Check out these privacy policy guidelines from the Better Business Bureau.
  • Less time, no money? Simply google free privacy policy generator and you’ll find some good options.

Don’t forget to check out the FTC’s website, which also has some great resources to get you on the right track.

And now, some legalese…

This blog post has provided information about the law designed to help our readers better understand the legal issues surrounding internet marketing. But legal information is not the same as legal advice — the application of law to an individual’s specific circumstances. We insist that you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is accurate. To clarify further, you may not rely upon this information as legal advice, nor as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular legal understanding, and you should instead regard this article as intended for entertainment purposes only.