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Free Template & Step-By-Step Guide to Drafting a Privacy Policy

9 mins read

Privacy policies are a requirement for any website that collects personal information from its users. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of privacy policies and what they entail. We will also provide tips on how to create a privacy policy for your website. Having a privacy policy is not only required by law, but it is also good business practice. It helps protect your customers and builds trust between you and them.

A privacy policy is a legal document that outlines the types of personal information that is collected by a website, how the information is used, and how it is protected. Personal information can include items such as names, addresses, email addresses, and credit card numbers. Privacy policies also explain a website’s procedures for handling requests from users who want to access their personal information or who want to have their information removed from the website.

Main laws designed to safeguard an individual’s data rights:

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), established in 2018, is one of the most well-known data privacy laws. The GDPR was introduced by the European Union (EU) to provide internet users control over their data.

This set of regulations allows users greater control over when and how their data is gathered. It also implements a “Privacy by Design” paradigm, which requires organizations to consider consumers’ data privacy while creating their business practices, systems, and procedures.

The GDPR applies to all websites and applications that target inhabitants of the European Economic Area (EEA), regardless of where the website or app is hosted. This regulation has served as a model for many other current data privacy laws.

CCPA

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which was also passed in 2018, is another major data protection legislation. The CCPA is the first comprehensive data privacy legislation enacted by a state in the United States. It was created to provide California residents greater control over the information that corporations gather about them.

The CCPA is comparable to the GDPR but is typically seen as less stringent. Both laws, for example, provide consumers greater control over data gathering and processing, but the GDPR has tougher requirements for cookie usage and user permission. Check out our beautiful infographic that illustrates the differences between the CCPA and the GDPR.

ePrivacy Directive & Regulation

Prior to the CCPA and GDPR, the principal regulator of EU online privacy was the ePrivacy Directive, commonly known as the EU cookie legislation. It ensured that websites acquired user permission to store non-essential cookies in their browsers. The directive is being revised to create the ePrivacy Regulation (ePr), which will function in tandem with the GDPR. However, the EU Commission has not reached an agreement on a final text and has put the endeavor on hold indefinitely.

PIPEDA

Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is a data privacy legislation in Canada. It gives Canadian internet users the right to consent to the gathering of personal data as well as the right to view and dispute the accuracy of their information. Personal data from persons may only be used for the reason for which it was gathered, according to PIPEDA.

The core concepts of this legislation include improved accountability, a clearly defined goal for data collection, appropriate use of consent, and restrictions on the gathering of sensitive or personal data.

It also seeks to limit the use, disclosure, and preservation of personal information. The data must be secure, accurate, and accessible to individuals. Furthermore, people must be able to dispute a noncompliant company.

There are a few key reasons why privacy policies are important:

  • They help you comply with privacy laws. In many jurisdictions, privacy laws require businesses to have privacy policies in place if they collect personal information from individuals. These laws vary from country to country, but they all share the same goal of protecting people’s privacy.
  • They build trust with your customers. Privacy policies show your customers that you take their privacy seriously and that you are committed to protecting their personal information. This can help build customer loyalty and encourage people to do business with you.
  • They help you avoid legal problems. If you collect personal information without a privacy policy in place, you could be subject to legal action from individuals or government agencies. Having a privacy policy can help protect you from these types of problems.

Here are some general tips for creating a privacy policy:

  • Your privacy statement must appropriately reflect the collection and use of data on your site.
  • Your privacy statement should be simple, straightforward, and easy to read. Limit the use of technical jargon and legalese.
  • Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Your policy should appropriately represent your company’s data procedures. You may get ideas from comparable firms’ policies, but don’t just copy and paste another company’s policy – one size does not fit all.
  • You must notify your users if you decide to change how you utilize personal information.
  • Make it clear what personal information is being collected by the website.
  • Explain how the personal information will be used.
  • Include a statement that explains who has access to the personal information.
  • Describe the security measures that are in place to protect the personal information.
  • Include a statement that explains what rights users have with respect to their personal information.
  • Provide contact information for someone who can answer questions about the privacy policy or handle privacy concerns.

What steps to take when drafting a Privacy Policy?

Step 1. Start by determining what sorts of information you gather from users. Is the data personally identifiable? E.g., does your platform collect:

  • names, addresses, and telephone numbers
  • electronic mail addresses
  • dates and times of IP address access

Step 2. Explain why is this information being gathered? Is the data gathering suitable for the activity or transaction? If not, why do you gather it?

Step 3. List what methods are used to gather this information?

  • cookies
  • weblogs
  • surveys
  • online forms
  • event or course registration
  • newsletter sign-up
  • credit card # while making a purchase

Step 4. Explain what will be done with this information and who will have access to it?

  • Do you have the user’s permission to gather and use the data?
  • Is the site hosted by a third party? What will they do with the data?
  • Is there any form of metrics on the site? If so, have you notified the user and given them instructions on how to prevent analytic tracking?
  • Is it possible for the user to forbid gathering and use of data?
  • How long will the gathered data be kept?

Step 5. Inform users how will they be notified if your privacy policies change?

  • By email?
  • Will you publish the date of the privacy statement’s modification?

Users must be notified if their information is used for a purpose different than that for which permission was granted.

Step 6. Give users a way to get in touch if they have concerns about your site’s privacy statement.

Step 7. Explain how is user information safeguarded?

  • Computer security?
  • File encryption and physical access controls?
  • SSL?
  • Have you advised users if the site is not suited to handle private information?
  • Is it possible for users to give personal information via alternative methods, such as by calling your business phone numbers?

Step 8. Address children’s privacy

If your platform is not directed to children, you can add a clause: “We do not knowingly collect any personal information about children under the age of 13. Our Platform is not directed to children under the age of 13. If we become aware that a child under 13 has provided any personal info, it will be erased from our database as soon as reasonably possible, except when we need to keep that information for legal purposes or to notify a parent or guardian. However, portions of this data may remain in back-up archives or web logs even after we erase it from our databases. If a parent or guardian believes that a child has sent us personal information, send us an e-mail.”

If your platform is directed to children, smth like this could be appropriate: “Kids! You may be asked to give us some information about yourself in order to use certain parts of our site. Depending on the activity you want to do, you may need to ask your parents for permission first. When you sign up for an activity, you will be told if you need permission or not. When you send us a question or comment, we will only use your email address to answer you. After we answer you, we’ll get rid of your email address from our records. If you are ever unsure about how to use this site or any other site, talk to a parent or guardian. Remember, always check with your parent or guardian when surfing the net!”

Resources

If you need help creating a privacy policy for your website, there are a number of resources available online. You can find privacy policy templates and generators that can help you create a policy tailored to your specific needs. You can also find legal advice from privacy lawyers if you have questions about privacy law or need help drafting your policy.

FREE TEMPLATE

You can use this free template as a starting point:

PRIVACY POLICY

We are committed to respecting the privacy of our customers’ personal information. This statement pertains to information collected from the Company Web site, which can be found at _______.com. Changes to this statement will be posted at this URL and will take effect as soon as they are posted. Your continued use of this site following the publication of such amendment, modification, or change shall represent your acceptance of such amendment, modification, or change.

I. INFORMATION COLLECTED

We acquire non-personally identifiable information about you in a variety of methods, such as by tracking your actions via your IP address, computer settings, or most-recently visited URL. We may also request non-personally identifiable information about you, such as your age, household income, purchasing habits, and so on. We do not gather personally identifiable information about you unless you freely provide it to us, such as by filling out a survey or registration form. Your name, address, e-mail address, and phone number are examples of information that may be required.

II. USE OF INFORMATION

In general, we will only use the information you give us for the reason for which it was given. We may also use this information to send you information about our company and promotional materials from our partners, as well as for trend research, pattern identification, and site management. Your information may also be used to contact you as necessary and shared with other organizations who may wish to contact you with offers that are compatible with your expressed preferences. Users may unsubscribe from future mailings from the Company and other entities by following the instructions in the opt-out section below.

Non-personal demographic and profile data is used to personalize your experience on our site by displaying information we believe you would be interested in. This information may also be shared in aggregate, non-personal form with advertising.

III. USE OF IP ADDRESSES

We use your IP address to assist diagnose server problems and to manage our website.

IV. USE OF COOKIES

We may save some information on your computer when you visit our website. This data will be stored in the form of a “cookie” or similar file. Cookies are little pieces of information that are stored on your hard drive rather than on our site. Cookies do not spy on you or otherwise compromise your privacy, nor can they infiltrate your hard drive and steal data. Rather, they make it as simple as possible for you to navigate a website. We use cookies to present content tailored to your data and to prevent you from having to re-enter all of your registration information at each connection.

To display advertisements on our website, we use an independent advertisement server provider. These advertisements may include cookies. The advertisement server business may acquire cookies from third-party banner adverts. We do not have access to information that would corroborate the advertisement server company’s use of cookies.

V. SECURITY

Our site employs industry-standard security procedures to protect the information in our control from loss, abuse, and alteration. While there is no such thing as “perfect security” on the Internet, we will take every reasonable precaution to keep your personal information safe.

VI. LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES

Links to other websites can be found on our website. XYZ is not responsible for such Web sites’ privacy practices or content.

VII. CHANGES & UPDATES

XYZ gives its consumers the chance to amend or modify previously submitted information. This can be accomplished using the following methods:

(1) Send an email to __________@_____.corn with the information.

(2) Go to the site’s Customer Service section and follow the instructions.

Unfortunately, because such information is also maintained in other databases, we cannot always guarantee that such adjustments or deletions will be reflected in those systems. We shall make every reasonable effort to remove or modify your information from our records.

VIII. OPT OUT

You can opt out of receiving communications from us and our partners by using the following methods:

(1) E-mail _______@ ___.com

(2) Go to the site’s Customer Service section and follow the instructions.

IX. PUBLIC FORUMS

This website provides its users with access to chat rooms, forums, message boards, and/or news groups. Please keep in mind that any information published in these sections becomes public knowledge, and you should proceed with caution while disclosing any personal information.

How to Contact Us:

If you have any questions concerning this privacy policy, our practices, or your interactions with us, please contact us at ____________@ .com.

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