Do I Need a Privacy Policy on My Website?

The short answer is YES, you definitely need a Privacy Policy on your website. It is required by law.  Almost every country in the world has some type of privacy law to protect their citizens’ personal information.  We’ll focus on the United States.

Privacy PolicyThere are a few exceptions when you don’t need a Privacy Policy on your website. The main exception is if you are not collecting any personal information from your website user.  Personal information includes things like name, email address, phone number, street address, etc. If you have a form on your website, you definitely are collecting personal information.  If you want someone to contact you from your website and you don’t want to or know how to add a Privacy Policy on your website, instead of using a website form, add a link with your email address in it.  For example, <a href=”mailto:[email protected]?subject=Interested in your product”>Email Me</a>.  Personally, I don’t like having my email address on a website, because it attracts a lot of spam. There are other reasons you still may need a Privacy Policy, for example, if you use cookies or are using a third party app like Google Analytics to track website visitor traffic.

Three Main Reasons To Have A Privacy Policy

  1. You are required by law. At this time, it’s not enforced, but don’t want until you have an issue with a user.
  2. You are required by third party services. For example, Google Analytics, Facebook Like button, MailChimp.
  3. You always want to be transparent and upfront to visitors to your website

 

What Information You Should Disclose In Your Privacy Policy

These are just some examples of the basic information you should disclose in your Privacy Policy. You will need to disclose what type of information you are collecting, how you are collecting it and what you are using it for.  It will all depend on your website.  If you are not sure, contact us.

  • Any personal information collected, like name, email address, telephone number, etc.
  • Any data you collect from third parties like Google Analytics, Facebook, etc.
  • If you use cookies on your website

NOTE: A Privacy Policy link should be visible on every page.  Industry standard is to put somewhere in footer of website.  It is always best practice to have your Privacy Policy on it’s own web page and not buried in Terms and Conditions or other documentation.

Conclusion

This is a very high level blog post on what a Privacy Policy is and why you need one.  Bottom line, Privacy Policies are Legally Required.  If you don’t have one or would like us to review yours, don’t hesitate to contact us, we’ll be happy to assist.