- Why you are collecting data
- How long you store the data you collect
- Where you are storing the data
- How you are collecting the data (i.e. via cookies, forms, analytics)
- The ways you plan to keep the data safe
- Any third-party services you’re using to collect, process, or store that information (such as an email newsletter service, or advertising network)
- Whether or not the information being collected is optional and how users can opt-out
What types of data would a company collect?
- Email addresses
- Phone numbers
- Credit and Debit Card Information
- Sites visited or frequented and more
Below are a few examples of privacy policies:
- EU General Data Protection Regulation, better known as GDPR – This is the most popular example of new privacy regulations business owners are facing online right now. It currently applies to companies doing business in the European Union, but variants of the policy are making their way into the United States as well.
- Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) United States
- California Online Privacy Protection Act United States
- Privacy Shield United States
- Australia’s Privacy Principles (APPs)
- Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) Canada
Think about it. If you thought a company was hiding something, would you trust that your transactions were secure? Perhaps not. Would you believe that purchased goods were of the best quality? Not necessarily.
The truth is, it’s unlikely that you would want to do business with a company if you didn’t trust them.
Privacy policies are just one of many factors in the transparency of a company. It’s a key reason why it’s so important that you have one, even if they aren’t yet legally required where you do business.
- Use easy to understand language that doesn’t require a law degree to read
- Be published on a page of your website that can be referenced later, instead of just a single pop-up that disappears after a visitor clicks away from it
- Include your business name and contact details as well as any other business names you might be known under (i.e. LLCs, DBAs)
- Include information about third parties that may have access to the data you collect (i.e. Google Analytics, and Amazon Associates)
- Be reviewed regularly for any updates if necessary
- Allow your consumers to have an option to opt-out of data collection
While navigating the waters of privacy can be tricky, these few tips can go a long way in helping your business build the reputation, trust, and longevity your customers expect. Wherever in the world you’re doing business, remember that it’s always a good idea to keep your ear to the ground for changes in policies that could affect your company online.