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Privacy Policy? Why Your Website Needs a Privacy Policy

If you have a website, blog, or mobile app, you need a privacy policy. Privacy policies explain what data you collect from your users or visitors, how you use that information, and what steps you take to protect that information.

Reasons Why Your Website Needs a Privacy Policy

Federal Law

In the United States, there is no single comprehensive federal law regulating the collection and use of personal data. The U.S. has a patchwork system of federal and state laws and regulations that sometimes overlap and sometimes even contradict each other. In addition, there are also many guidelines or “best practices” created by various agencies and industry groups that are not enforced, but are considered self-regulatory frameworks.

Some of the most prominent federal privacy laws include:

If you collect, store, or share personal data like emails, names, or payment information, you need to explain what you plan to do with your visitors’ and/or customers’ personal data.

State Laws

There are many laws at the state level that regulate the collection and use of personal data. Most states have enacted some form of privacy legislation. California leads the way in the privacy arena, with multiple privacy laws, some of which have national reach.

Build Trust

Privacy policies can build trust. To build trust even faster, make your privacy policy comply with the new EU GDPR requirements. Create a privacy policy that is obvious, transparent, and clearly written.

Provide Peace of Mind

Privacy policies should provide peace of mind because they explain clearly what you plan on doing with their personally identifiable information.

Improve Credibility

Adding a privacy policy link in the footer of every page of your website adds credibility and professionalism. Conversely, NOT having a privacy policy may raise a red flag and chase potential customers away. Now that privacy policies are required by EU’s GDPR, this is more important than ever.

Fulfill Third-Party Requirements

Many third-party programs that are part of websites – Google Analytics, Ad Networks, CRM systems, ECommerce Tools – actually already require users to display a privacy policy. As an example, read section 7. Privacy of Google Analytics Terms of Service.

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The European Union’s new GDPR regulation – in full enforcement on May 25, 2018 – safeguards the personal data of individuals in the EU. What is interesting about this regulation is that even though it’s EU-based, it applies broadly to any online entity that may have, either now or in the future, a visitor from the European Union.

 

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