Easy Guide to Creating Your Privacy Policy

2 mins read

Even though online privacy collection practices are not strictly regulated in the US, you should still have a Privacy Policy. It will help give your customers some more confidence when buying from you because it’ll help you create a transparent environment on your website.

Let’s say you have an e-commerce business and you are wondering whether you can just use a template from the Internet for your Privacy Policy. Most likely, yes, unless your website is targeted at children under 13, customers in Europe, or other peculiar situations. Most e-commerce startups, however, can get away with a standard template Privacy Policy, as long as you tweak it a little to your business. Get a template that looks like it’ll suit your business best and follow these general guidelines.

1. Simple English. Don’t try to “impress” lawyers with your legalese. Try to impress your customers (for many of whom English is not their first language) with how easy you can explain what will you do with their private information.

2. Explain what are you going to do with their private information:
     
        a. What exactly do you collect? (email, name, phone, payment information, etc.)
        b. How will you collect that info? (when they register on your site, place an order, email you, cookies, etc.)
        c. What do you need that info for? (“To provide the services you requested; to improve our website; to process transactions”).
       d. How do you share that info? If you share personal information with any affiliates, you must disclose that fact. You can also mention that you may disclose aggregate anonymous statistical data without consent. You may also mention disclosure to a buyer or other successor in the event of a merger or sale of business. To enforce your Terms of Use. To prevent security breach, crime, to protect anybody’s rights, property or safety.
      e. How do you protect that info? (SSL, password-protected admin-only access, etc.)

3. A message about how third-party advertisers show ads on your site.

4. Protect yourself against possible security breaches.Security.  While we do our best to keep all information completely confidential, the transmission of data over the Internet is not always completely secure. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the security of any personal information transmitted to us or from us.”

5. COPPA, children’s privacy. If your site is not directed at children under 13, state so and mention that you do not collect any personal information from children under 13.

6. Give users an option to out of your newsletters and promotional communications. Mention that there will be unsubscribe link included in those types of messages.

7. Give users an opportunity to correct, erase or review their personal information that you’ve collected. Post your email address for those purposes.

8. State that you reserve the right to change your Privacy Policy from time to time without notice, and that users shall be responsible for checking for updates on that page. Their continuing use of your site following the posting of updates shall constitute users’ acceptance of the changes.

9. Special Provisions for Foreign Users.  “You consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in [SITE OWNER’S COUNTRY].”

Most regular e-commerce startups shall be adequately covered if they address the above issues in their Privacy Policies.

Read also:

How to Draft the Terms of Use for an eCommerce Platform

Easy Way to Enforce Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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