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Does My Website Need a Privacy Policy?

I receive a lot of emails from businesses letting me know that they have “updated their privacy policy;” you probably get a bunch of these, too. And you might be wondering, “why have I started getting so many of these lately?” And perhaps you’re thinking, “should I have a privacy policy on my website?”

These are great questions!

Data protection is becoming a huge deal, and not only for big businesses– taking privacy seriously is mission-critical for small businesses and non-profits. 

A quick web search will tell you that there is a lot of information out there about website privacy and data protection. It can be pretty overwhelming. Today I’d like to dig a little deeper into website privacy and help you make an informed decision about your website policies. 

Important: Please note that this article is purely for educational purposes, and should not be considered legal advice.

What is a Privacy Policy?

A privacy policy is a legal agreement between you & your website visitors. Typically, the policy is displayed on a dedicated & easy-to-find page on your website. Often, you’ll find a link to a site’s privacy policy in the footer. Here it is on the Dahl House Designs website:

Privacy policies usually include the following information:

 

  • The type of information you gather from them when they visit your website or perform a specific action (like filling out a contact form). 
  • The purpose of collecting this information.
  • How you keep this information safe.


There may be additional policy requirements depending on your industry, location, or your website visitors. Other info may include telling your users where you store their information, and for how long you store the info.

Why Is Having a Privacy Policy Important?

When your business is straightforward about its data collection practices, it protects both you & your site visitors. 

Generally speaking, being transparent with your website users builds your brand integrity. As more & more people begin to safeguard their personal information, keeping them aware of your practices helps them to trust that you care about their privacy as much as they do. 

You may also be legally required to have a privacy policy on your website. Laws vary from country-to-country, and indeed from state-to-state here in the US. Here are a few key pieces of legislation that you might want to be familiar with: 

USA: California Online Privacy Act

The California Online Privacy Protection Act is (CalOPPA) was the first US state law that required commercial websites to have a privacy policy. When paired with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which goes into effect on July 1st, 2020, it is clear the state of California takes the privacy of its citizens seriously!

And while California is perhaps currently the state with the strictest privacy laws, they are not alone! More & more states are passing privacy policy legislation.

EU: General Data Protection Regulation

According to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), if your company operates in the EU or collects personal data from EU-based visitors, it must have a clearly visible privacy policy.

Canada: Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act

In Canada, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) requires all websites that collect and handle visitors’ data online to have a privacy policy.

Other Jurisdictions

UK and Australia have similar data protection acts, stating the visitors’ rights to know how their data is stored and handled.

My Country or State Doesn't Have Privacy Laws; Do I Still Need a Policy?

While your particular jurisdiction may not have any specific laws in place (yet), you are likely required to follow the laws governing the location of your website visitor. In other words, if you have visitors from California, you need to follow California’s privacy laws. Similarly, if you have visitors from the EU, UK, Candana, or Australia, you should comply with those laws. 

How Do I Know If My Website Needs a Privacy Policy?

Dahl House Designs recommends a privacy policy for every website. 

Your website should have a privacy policy if it collects Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

What is PII?

PII is data that can be used to identify a particular person. Examples of such info are:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Credit card number

Learn more about PII.

Does My Website Collect PII?

Most websites collect Personally Identifiable Information. Here are some common ways PII is collected on a site:

  • Contact form submissions
  • Allowing users to set-up user accounts (most WordPress sites have this feature)
  • Using cookies or other tracking mechanisms like Google Analytics or installing a Facebook Pixel. 
  • Allowing visitors to make a purchase or online transaction.

How Do I Get A Privacy Policy?

So, you’ve decided to make the wise-move of integrating a privacy policy into your website- excellent! You have several options to choose from as you move forward.

Hire An Attorney

Because your site’s privacy policy constitutes a legal agreement between you & your website visitors, consulting a lawyer is never a bad idea.

Bear in mind that privacy laws evolve, so if you do hire an attorney, you’ll need to have them revisit your policy regularly to make sure it stays up-to-date. When done correctly, this can be very expensive.

Find a Free Template Online

There is no shortage of free privacy policies that you can find online. Some of these templates may be good, and it is undoubtedly a very budget-friendly option.

But, be aware that sometimes you get what you pay for. When using a free online template, the policy information may not be complete or accurate.

Termageddon: The Affordable Solution That Will Give You All The Confidence You Need

We know it is essential to find a balance between quality & cost for our clients– we are in the same boat! So when Dahl House Designs sought to find a comprehensive, easy, and affordable privacy policy solution, we turned to Termageddon. 

Termageddon is an ideal option for the business owner who is looking to protect their business at an affordable price. Learn more about Termageddon’s fantastic service:

I can’t tell you the peace of mind I have, knowing that I have the experts at Termageddon keeping my Privacy Policies updated!

Get Termageddon Through Dahl House Designs

Termageddon Badge: Data Privacy Certified Agency Partner

We are proud to be a Termagedoon Certified Agency Partner! We work closely with the folks at Termageddon to not only make our policies are up to date, but our client’s websites are protected as well.

When you sign up for Termageddon through Dahl House Designs, you will qualify for a discount on your annual service plan, AND we will expertly integrate your Termageddon policies into your website.

Are you interested in protecting your business with a comprehensive & up-to-date privacy policy? Fill out the form below, and we’ll get in touch! 

Get Started with Termageddon

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