Why Does a Privacy Policy Matter?

A person reaching through the computer and shaking hands with the person on the other side

Privacy policy pages tend not to be the most popular page on businesses' websites as they can be long, dry, and a little technical. While such policies are often overlooked by site visitors, however, they are fundamentally important if you want to operate an ethical business that abides by current data collection laws.

To help you better understand why you must have a privacy policy in place before letting your company site go live, we’ve put together a list of important reasons and why they matter:

1. Privacy policies are required by law

If like virtually all successful businesses, you collect data from your customers via your website, you are required by law to have a privacy policy in place. A privacy policy is a legal agreement that your customers opt into by using your website or related applications.

In the US, the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) is often considered the boilerplate law for companies to follow when generating a privacy policy. Although it stipulates protections for California-based web users only, the fact that the state’s residents could be using your site means you must prepare a legal statement available for review.

Similarly, you will need to take account of overseas site users whose countries may have their own set of privacy laws such as Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Australia’s Privacy Act of 1988 or the EU’s Directive. It is worth noting, however, that the EU Directive and CalOPPA are considered the most comprehensive laws and, therefore, the blueprint for businesses around the world to follow when drawing up their privacy policies.

2. People care about where their data ends up

Following a series of scandals surrounding the use of personal data by online companies throughout the 2010s, people are more cautious than ever when using unfamiliar sites. Before handing over information such as an email address or home address, many people will check out a company’s privacy policies to ensure their data will not be misused.

3. Many third parties require privacy policies

Third-party services such as Google Analytics and Facebook require businesses to have a privacy policy as their ad platforms are likely to collect data about customers. In this way, your privacy policy needs to include information about how you use third-party plugins or other services.

Google Analytics states in its Terms and Conditions page, for example, that any businesses making use of their services must disclose this fact in a privacy policy. The same goes for other companies offering data collection services such as Google AdWords, Facebook, and the Apple App Store.

Generate a privacy policy quickly and easily

Even if you don’t use your company website to collect personal information, it is worth creating a privacy policy to reassure customers of your integrity. Virtually every reputable website now contains a privacy policy, so it would be foolish not to do so yourself.

Fortunately, drawing up a privacy policy does not have to consume too much time or effort thanks to the existence of privacy policy generators such as TermsFeed or Termly. Try them out today!

Build your website.
Grow your business.
It's that simple.

We’re currently accepting a limited number of new clients, so schedule a free consultation now to see how we can take your business to the next level.