What to Include in Your Website Privacy Policy

Okay, we admit it: no one enjoys reading website privacy policies. You may not have even noticed this legal document on any website, but trust us, it’s there! It is a requirement for every website to have a privacy policy 🤗. 

The main objective✔ of a website privacy policy is to explain to users how the website interacts with their personal information without infringing their rights 😇. This policy states your website’s relationship with the data obtained from users 👥, and it’s governed🔨 by the law of a state or country. Ready to create your own website privacy policy? You’ve come to the right place!

Is a Privacy Policy for Your Website Required by Law?

Yes. The US doesn’t require a website privacy policy, but California has its own restrictions that apply to any website that collects information from California residents. Yes, you read that right—even if you’re from somewhere else, if Californians find you on search engines and sign up for your email communications or buy something from you, you must comply with California laws. Crazy, right? 

Keep in mind that this mainly applies to websites that request user information such as email address 📩, phone number 📱, or credit card details 💳. This applies to normal activities like newsletter signup or a small number of items for sale. 

Whether hosting a mobile app, a website, a social media platform, or a desktop app owner, you need a privacy policy to comply with Golden State laws. Firstly, the website privacy policy must clearly appear. Secondly, the links show up in an easy-to-access📸 manner for security purposes.

Across the globe, various government agencies guide on how to develop website privacy policies. So, here are a few you need to be aware of.

California Websit Privacy Protection Act (CaIOPPA)

CaIOPPA dictates that all websites make their privacy policy accessible to every computer and mobile device user😊. It requires transparency from websites about the type of user data collected, where it’s collected from, and whether it’s sold or shared with third parties👀. 

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

CCPA is among the latest and most comprehensive data privacy laws in the US. It seeks to ensure that you follow all online privacy legal obligations to the letter. CCPA also demands that each website updates ♻ its privacy policy annually for technical purposes. Therefore, you have to disclose any new session cookies or persistent cookies you’ve added!

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR legislations apply to users within the European economic area (EEA). Privacy laws set by GDPR are very comprehensive 👌 and demand adherence to international standards when dealing with data privacy under any legal process. 

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

COPPA applies to websites that market to kiddos! For kids 👦 under 13 years, the federal laws demand that your privacy policy provides key information regarding the type of services you’re offering. This, of course, is for the adults. 

Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)

This privacy law applies to businesses operating in Canada, home of maple syrup. Firstly, you should note the major theme of this law is the “openness” of information on legal bases. This is because it states that website operators 👨 have to have transparent policies for law enforcement purposes.

What to Include in Your Website Privacy Policy

Are you ready to cover your bases and create a website privacy policy that complies with all of the above? When looking for a privacy template for your website, make sure it includes the following elements:

  • What information do you collect? 
  • Why did you collect the information?
  • Do you share personal data with third parties?
  • What are user rights over their data?
  • Where are your links to other policies?

Not sure how to do that? Let’s discuss these elements further. 

What Information You Collect in Website Privacy Policy

The first thing to include in your website privacy policy is the nature of information you collect from users using third-party cookies, other third-party services, or other means. Therefore, you should be aware of common types of data that most websites collect. These include:

  • Personal data (name, email address, etc.)
  • Mobile data (mobile phone ID and manufacturer information)
  • Financial data (credit card details, preferred payment methods)
  • Third-party data (ex: social media friends list)
  • Derivative data (IP address, location history, and session web measurement)
  • Data from social media websites (Instagram login information, mailing address)

Why You Collect the Information

After letting individual users know the type of information you collect from them, you have to divulge what the reason for doing it is 🤔. Therefore, the privacy practices laws outlined above ask that you state the purpose for collecting the information from the user address book.

Some of the common reasons for collecting personal information include to:

  • Complete transactions with third-party sites
  • Process orders and perform technical controls
  • Create user accounts
  • Send commercial marketing newsletters🗄
  • Register users for commercial purposes (i.e. sweepstakes, contests, or surveys)
  • Prevent fraudulent activities 🤓 and work with government authorities

Whether You Share User Data with Any Third-Party Website

Most websites integrate with third parties to enhance service provision and user experience. For direct marketing purposes, for example, a website may need to transfer📤 some user information to third parties through an email message or other analytics tools.

During such a kind of content interaction, the website must state📝 the categories of third parties it shares information with. Some possible third parties include:

  • Business partners
  • Service providers
  • Affiliates
  • Interest-based ads vendors and advertising networks
  • Credit bureaus
  • Financial institutions
  • International agencies
  • Federal agencies or a state government agency
  • Social networks

As a rule of thumb, as a website, only share non-personally identifiable information with third parties. This minimizes potential security threats and unauthorized access. 

User Rights Over Their Data

Does your privacy policy include a section that outlines the data rights that users have? Furthermore, how do you allow users to act on these rights? Finally, do you have a customer service representative?

In most cases, users may request to check the personal information that your website has collected for internal business purposes. Therefore, your website privacy policy should give instructions on how to make such requests 😋 to comply with applicable privacy laws. 

Links to Other Policies

After creating your privacy policy, you must also link it from time to time to other policies and community features like:

  • Terms and conditions😎
  • Disclaimer information, and
  • Cookie policies ⚠

It’s important to link these documents to each other so that users can seamlessly navigate📈 them. This is because such links help people understand how your system works.

Do You Need Help with Creating a Website Privacy Policy? 

It’s a legal requirement to have a privacy policy for your website 😱 if you serve people in California, the EU, and many other parts of the world. But you can create this document 📋 on your own or seek the help of a legal document assistant 🤵.

At Ian Corzine, we have many affordable💸 options! Firstly, you can book a consultancy service with us at any time ⏱. You can also purchase our website privacy policy template at a very affordable price 😊. So don’t wait; protect your business today!