Privacy Policy: what it is and why you need it.

Privacy Policy Art

Publish Date

October 07, 2022

Reading Time

 

What is a Privacy Policy? Does my website need one? What should I include in it? This article will answer all those questions. Furthermore, we will discuss how to comply with Privacy Policies and the applicable law to avoid penalties (the best part is that you don’t need to speak legalese to get it). 

When people ask for the Wi-Fi password before anything else, you realize that we now live in a digital era. First, we shop, make money and pay bills online every day. Second, customers spend more time online now than ever; third,  billions of users exchange and provide a large amount of data daily (sometimes unknowingly!).

Nowadays, it is relatively easy for someone unrelated to you to access information. Due to the large amounts of data exchanged through computers, tablets, and mobile devices, privacy has become a priority and a legitimate interest for many. As a result, customers realize the importance of digital privacy and understand that certain things are personal and should not be available to strangers. 

We tend to underestimate how delicate the information we share online is. Information is not only shared on social media sites but also through our web browsers and searching habits. Such information is a double-edged sword, both asset and threat, and knowing how to handle this information is crucial (especially when you have a website).

 

What is Online Privacy?

 

Online privacy refers to the level of privacy and protection a person has while using the internet. It is also known as internet privacy or digital privacy. 

Information privacy lets you control what you reveal about yourself on the internet. Who can access that information, and what are companies allowed to do with the collected data? 

 

Digital Privacy:

Digital privacy focuses on ensuring the proper handling, processing, usage, and storage of your data.

 

Information Security:


Information Security refers to protecting information against unauthorized access attempts that could be malicious.

For example, take any of your social networks. Your password is an aspect of information security; however, how the social media platform uses and handles your information is related to digital privacy.

In addition to the above, you must give explicit consent to security and privacy regulations. You do this by clicking “I agree” to the company’s privacy policies and Terms and Conditions.

 

What is a Privacy Policy?

 

Regulatory agents created privacy policies worldwide to protect consumers and their online rights. Over 100 countries actively enact these laws. Privacy Policies are legal agreements and documents that must appear on your website. They aim to inform your site and app visitors that your company will collect and store their personal information and how it will use it. A Privacy Policy will also include what you, as a business, are doing to protect user data. For this purpose, users need to be informed on how to proceed if a company fails to meet responsibilities regarding privacy management.

Data regulation policies are getting more robust each day. Noncompliance with the applicable law can lead to financial consequences such as fines and damages to your brand image and reputation.

 

 

What does a Privacy Policy need to include?

 

– What data will you collect?

If your website stores personal information (most do), it must disclose it. What does a Privacy Policy consider to be personal information? It includes but is not limited to the following:

  • A customer’s name
  • Alias
  • Physical address
  • Contact Information
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Online unique identifier such as IP address.
  • Social security number.
  • Driver’s license number.
  • Passport number.
  • Records of properties
  • Purchase habits
  • Biometric data
  • Browsing, search, or history tendencies.
  • Geolocation, amongst others.

-Details on how your website will use that data or any additional information. Be transparent with your users.

– A notification process for policy changes.

-Whether or not your company will share user data with third-party websites. This applies regardless of the data used for administrative purposes, marketing purposes, or other purposes.

-The rights customers have regarding their personal information.

 

 

Why does your website need a Privacy Policy?

 

It is the law.

Be responsible for your legal obligations to avoid having to incur penalty fees and comply with the applicable law. 

 

Privacy Matters.


Customers are increasingly worried about issues like identity theft or misuse of their personal information. Consequently, they care about protecting their data and expect a privacy policy from you. Almost every live website has a section where you can easily find its privacy policy.

 

Customers have a right to know and say no. 

A Privacy Policy must include detailed information about your site’s collecting activities. For example, what data you will use, what you will use it for, what the consumer’s rights are regarding the data and how your business plans to protect those rights. 

 

Does every website need a Privacy Policy?

 

Yes! Suppose your website collects personal information from your visitors. In that case, it needs to have a link to an easily accessible Privacy Policy. Nearly all websites collect personal information from their visitors. A privacy policy will provide you with legal protection by being transparent about data storage and management.

 

A straightforward Privacy Policy will help earn your users’ trust and communicate that you value and respect their privacy.

 

Privacy policies vary from country to country. What you need to include in yours will vary according to the data you collect and where your visitors reside. It is always best to comply with the broadest laws to take proper care of the legal aspect of having a website.

 

 

What are the Privacy Policy Laws in the U.S. and around the world?

 

In the United States, we have the CCPA and the CalOPPA to protect California residents’ privacy rights and give them more control over how businesses use and collect personal information. 

These laws secure new rights for consumers and require them to consent to the usage of their data and be able to withdraw this consent at any point.

 

What is CalOPPA’s Privacy Policy?

 

The California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) protects the online privacy rights and personal data of the residents of the state of California, and it is considered the broadest privacy law in the U.S.

All websites collecting personal data online must comply with CalOPPA regardless of where they are (in case a California resident ever uses the site). 

 

 

What is the CCPA Privacy Policy?

 

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) focuses on enhancing consumer privacy rights for residents of California by granting them additional rights and enforcing the implementation of requirements for processing personally identifiable information. When these conditions are met, the law is applied:

 You have a business (any website with at least 50k unique visits per year from California falls under this scope), and you target Californian consumers (residents).

The CCPA grants consumers the right to know how a business might process or sell (share with third parties for a profit or use third-party analytics for retargeting) the information that belongs to them at or before the collection point.

 

Rights protected by California residents under the CCPA:

 

Right to be informed:

The information collected, how it will be processed, the purpose for data collection, and how you can object to it being sold).

Right to access:

You have the right to access the information collected in the past twelve months. Consumers must be provided with methods like a toll-free telephone number to submit requests to access this information.

Right to be deleted:

This Privacy Policy gives California residents the right to request the deletion of any personal data collected. If a customer requests to have his information deleted, the business must tend to his request free of charge through a customer support platform within 45 days from the requested date.

Right to opt-out:

The CCPA gives users the right to say no to their personal information being sold, shared, or exchanged with third parties for any purpose.

If your website sells or shares consumers’ personal information with third parties, you must disclose this and inform them of their right to opt out. 

The disclosure must be visible from the homepage of the site and must include an opt-out (DNSMPI) link.

Right to opt-in:

Businesses are not allowed to share or sell the personal information of consumers when willingly knowing the user is under the age of 16.

In that case, businesses may obtain prior consent for minors between 13 and 16 who have opted-in and users under 13 years of age who had a parent or guardian opt-in on their behalf.

Right to not be discriminated against:

A business can not discriminate against consumers that choose to exercise their privacy rights; this means they can not deny goods or services, charge different prices or rates, or provide customers with a different level or quality of goods or services.

If a customer requests to have his information deleted, businesses must tend to this request free of charge within 45 days of the user’s request.

 

International Privacy Policies:

The GDPR in the EU (European Economic Area)

PIPEDA in Canada

The Privacy Act of 1988 in Australia

 

 

What Privacy Policy regulations apply to my website?

 

The laws of a particular region apply to you if:

-You base your operations there.

-Use processing services or servers based in the area.

-Target users from that region.

Privacy regulations may apply to you or your business regardless of your location. Your responsibilities will also depend on your industry and the type of information you collect, handle and store. It is always better for you to approach your data processing policies with the most strict and broad applicable regulations to be safe, covered, and compliant with the rest of the laws.

 

 

What is Privacy Policy compliance, and how to achieve it?

 

Compliance means that website follows specific laws, guidelines, or certifications and meets requirements that regulatory entities and authorities enact. To comply with Privacy Laws means protecting user data’s privacy, integrity, and confidentiality.

The requirements and contractual obligations needed to meet compliance will differ depending on the country, the law, the regulatory bodies, and other agents involved in the transactions, such as the payment method industries. Working towards achieving compliance means you will need to ask yourself the following questions:

What user data does my website collect, and how is it collected?

Which third-party services do I use on my site/app?

For which purposes do I collect this data?

 

The legal consequences of noncompliance include:

  • Fines
  • Disciplinary measures like official reprimands and periodic data protection audits.
  • Liability damages
  • Loss of services and contractual penalties
  • Criminal law

 

 

Do I need a lawyer to write my Privacy Policy?

 

Don’t worry about having to hire a lawyer to get this done. There are several ways to make sure your website is privacy policy compliant.

 

1) Write a privacy policy using a template that will help you include all the clauses for your users.

 

2) Hire specialized legal notes and privacy policy generators like Iubenda to do it for you (our personal choice if you want to improve your time management skills and start to implement the “work smart, not hard” philosophy).

 

What is the Iubenda Privacy Policy generator?

 

Iubenda is the easiest and most professional way to generate a privacy policy for your website, mobile app, and Facebook app. This legal notes and privacy policy generator aims to revolutionize developing, maintaining, and keeping the legal contents on your website up to date (check out how the generator works here). 

It is run and backed by real lawyers around the world, and it offers the following services for your website and apps:

-Privacy and Cookie Policy Generator

-Cookie Solutions that manage consent preferences for privacy, GDPR, and CCPA. These integrate with the IAB TCF and CCPA Compliance Framework.

-Terms and Conditions generator.

Working with Iubenda is having the quality of an international legal team at the convenience of an online software solution. It is updated when the laws change, allows you to handle multiple sites under one user-friendly dashboard, and can generate in up to nine languages.

90,000+ clients in 100+ countries trust Iubenda. The portal has various plans and pricing. Hiring their services means you can focus on growing your business!

Do this while the specialists take care of everything having to do with privacy policies and compliance. Iubenda has a site scanner that Identifies which services you need to add to your policy. The platform also has step-by-step guides to help you add everything your website needs to comply with Privacy Policies.

 

Wrapping things up:

 

Part of being an entrepreneur is ensuring you are always two steps ahead. If you have a website, make sure you have a Privacy Policy and comply with the law.

As mentioned above, almost all websites collect personal information from their users (and thus require them). Many third-party services also need you to have a privacy policy. For example, if your blog has Google Analytics, you must post a privacy policy to use their service.

Our advice:

Our suggestion? Let the professionals at Iubenda help you take care of everything having to do with privacy policies and compliance.

You can find more suggestions for your business in the Tool Section of our blog! If you have questions, leave a comment or email us at collabs@thebeaonline.com. We would love to hear from you!

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