Privacy Policies: Why They Are Crucial for Every Website
May 29, 2014 | By Vela Wood
- Legal business and/or site name. Your address and contact information should also be included. If you are running a home business, we recommend opening a PO Box or hiring a mail forwarding service to protect your privacy.
- Exactly what information is collected. If you collect visitors’ names, email addresses, physical addresses, telephone numbers or any other sensitive or personal information, this should be disclosed.
- Categories of third parties with whom your company shares information. Examples of such third parties include: the site hosting company, the user’s own ISP, the courier delivering any purchases, the banks clearing credit card payments, etc.
- How the consumer can review and request changes to the information collected by the company. Examples include allowing the consumer to opt out of email communications, not signing up for an account, etc.
- Whether there are third party cookies or other tracking mechanisms such as advertising cookies. If your site will include cookies, you need to include the following:
- Brief description of what cookies are
- What information is collected by the cookies
- What is done with the information
- How to reject/delete/accept the cookies
- Explanation that there are no harmful technical consequences/risks
Beyond the Basics
You also need to consider more complex issues that are associated with privacy policies.
- Federal Law. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) places stringent burdens on companies who knowingly collect information about children under 13. To avoid COPPA liability, companies must take active steps to avoid collecting personal information from kids. For example, when asking for a date of birth, the company can deny access to those who indicate they are under 13 years old, and have procedures in place for preventing users from signing up using a different birth year if the company finds out they are under 13.
Key points to remember
Companies are not permitted to sell private information and must always disclose any mailing lists upon which customers will be placed as a result of signing up or purchasing products.