Here, we have help! Since we aren’t lawyers, it’s always a good idea to have your counsel read over your policy, particularly if it gets complicated in any way.
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It’s a document, typically a page, on your website that explains to users what information you collect about them when they visit your website and what you do with that information. This can include everything from using cookies to tracking elements for advertising.
- Notice of what information is collected
- Choice for users to accept this data collection or not or change preferences
- Access for users to see what data has been collected
- Security that details how information is stored
- Redress so that you know who to contact with issues or questions
Does Your Website Need One?
It might even be required by companies that you do business with (Google’s AdSense platform requires it) and a trustworthy website can help boost search engine rankings. So why not?
- What personal information you collect on your website
- How you collect that data
- How you use the data
- How you keep the information secure and safe
- If you share personal information with third parties
- If a user can control use or sharing of his/her data on your website
Then think about the information on your website. How do you connect with users and what information do you ask for or collect? This can include anything from names and email addresses that are used to sign in the site or the IP address (date and time) from which they access your site.
Even if you collect this information through third-party software, it’s important to note. Then think about whether collecting the information is necessary. (You might find that you can streamline some processes here or ask for less personal data.)
Then you can break it down into sections that relate to how and what you collect and how you use it.
Make sure to write the policy in an actually readable way. Avoid jargon and too much legal language that can confuse website visitors or make the policy ineffective because it’s not understandable.
Consider using checklist-style formatting, which can make information easy to read and digest. While most websites do use bulking paragraphs of information, this isn’t always necessary.
Finally, it is important to provide contact information or a link to your contact page. Users should be able to ask questions about the policy should they arise. Don’t make this too difficult.