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What Is a Privacy Policy?

What is a privacy policy? Privacy is the state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people. Privacy is also the state of being free from public attention. With this definition in mind, it is important to consider these principles as we discuss what a privacy policy means to the digital world. We will discuss the definition of a privacy policy and why a privacy policy is essential for your website. 

website privacy policies

What Is a Privacy Policy?

A privacy policy is a full disclosure notification, housed on websites that intend to be transparent with all users about the website’s intentions to gather, collect, or store information. A privacy policy will also disclose the methods in which the website will be sharing a site user’s information. 

Here’s a list of commonly included personal information that a website may gather from time to time: 

  • A user’s first and last name and/or telephone number
  • Your month and date of birth and year when applicable  
  • A permanent or residential address
  • Your personal or employer email address
  • Storing financial or payment info for a later date; including credit cards, debit cards, bank routing and account numbers
  • Your geographical location (i.e., IP address or Google maps GPS Location)

Purpose of a Privacy Policy

The purpose of a privacy policy is to align transparency with trust when it is applied to the user’s experience of visiting a particular website. Privacy policies would be nothing without transparency and details. So naturally, some site administrators are inspired to write policies based upon their own poor site visitation experiences. 

When a user visits your site, the site will automatically revoke their privacy because their information is now accessible to the public. Publicly accessible information is subject to being further violated once hackers begin to observe the user’s site visitation frequency. It is important to have a deep understanding of the sole purpose of a privacy policy. Your understanding will enable you to better acknowledge that using a user’s information without permission can have very negative implications. If a site administrator stores and shares a user’s information, without providing a privacy policy, the writer could be subject to a lawsuit or a loss of consumership.

website privacy policies

Website Privacy Policies

Website developers who skip the step of giving their consumers a privacy policy place themselves at risk for a lawsuit. Let’s suppose a website begins to store a user’s payment preferences without their knowledge. A hacker may feel entitled to have a right to access the user’s financial information without their knowledge.

Hackers tend to target websites that DO NOT have a privacy policy in place. This weakness has caused thousands of users to have their information unfairly compromised. Let’s take a look into what an ironclad website privacy policy should entail. (Note: The privacy policy of any site will vary, depending on the sole purpose of the site itself.) 

The amount and type of details that you decide to include in your policy are contingent upon the nature of your website’s service or business. Furthermore, your privacy policy will also include any geographical requirements that your local state or county may require in order for you to generate a proper policy. This article includes some of the most basic and fundamental legalities that you will need to keep in mind before you create your privacy policy.

If you want to save yourself the stress and trouble of writing your own policy, try using a privacy policy generator. There are free options available online. 

Security

It is essential that you inform your users of how you intend to protect their private information from unauthorized access, like hackers. Thus, transparency is key to gaining a trusting relationship with your consumer. Consumers want to feel safe and like the security of their information is a priority. Many users can tell if a website is secure. If your site is unable to secure the user’s information, it is important to directly state in your privacy policy that safeguarding measures are not guaranteed. 

Sharing and Storage 

Be sure to inform your users that their data is subject to being collected and stored. For instance, if your site has external servers or domains that are located internationally, you should state this. It’s only fair that you users are fully aware of the whereabouts of their private information. 

purpose of a privacy policy

Personal Information

It is reasonable for you to be direct about exactly what kind of information your site will collect. For example: 

  • A user’s first and last name 
  • Your month and date of birth 
  • A user’s permanent or residential address
  • Your personal or employer email address
  • Storing a user’s financial or payment info for a later date, like credit cards, debit cards, and bank routing and account numbers
  • Your geographical location (i.e., IP address or Google maps GPS Location)
  • A user’s personal identification or Resident Alien number

Collection Process

You should aim to be very transparent about whether you or any third parties affiliated with your site’s domain will contact a user via phone, email, or their home address. Users do not want to receive any form of unsolicited communication about the products or services that you are offering. 

Cookies

If your website contains any cookies, be sure to let your users know how cookies are embedded into the coding of your site. Again, respect and transparency are the keys to creating a user-friendly environment for all visitors of your site. 

Opting Out of Sharing 

You should also aim to explain to your users that they can opt-out of sharing their private data at any time. It is essential that users feel safe while they are surfing your site. If you fail to explain the opt-out option, users might feel forced to comply with your site’s policy.

Your Data Privacy Rights 

Remember, one’s privacy is his or her right to remain free from being observed or accessible to the public domain. So, you need to be very upfront about the rights that users have when they visit your site. Oftentimes, users are not aware of the right to privacy that is available to them by default. 

To avoid any confusion, be sure to include the most detailed and up-to-date information that is required by your local government. You should make it clear to the user that sharing their information is not necessary in order to navigate through your website. 

what is a privacy policy

Consider Your Privacy Policy

Let’s suppose you have a very close relationship with some of your potential site visitors. Does your close relationship give you the right to expose the private details of someone else’s life? The answer is simply no.

As a site developer or business owner, you must always consider the legal implications that can follow your decision-making. To avoid any legal implications you should consider using a privacy policy generator whenever possible, especially if your business has multiple landing pages. A privacy policy generator ensures that you meet any and all requirements for site administrators. 

Remember, a privacy policy should honor the definition of privacy at its core. The definition of privacy is a fundamental aspect of a privacy policy that will honor the integrity of the rights and privileges of all website users. Privacy is also the state of being free from public attention. With this definition in mind, it is important to apply these principles of morality as we navigate our way through what a privacy policy means to the digital world.

A privacy policy is a full disclosure notification, housed on websites that intend to be transparent with all users about the website’s intentions to gather, collect, or store information. A privacy policy will also disclose the methods in which the website will be sharing a site user’s information. 

If you need assistance adding a privacy policy to your website, contact SEO Design Chicago today! Our expert web developers can ensure that your website is in compliance with the necessary laws and regulations.

website privacy policy

FAQ:

  • What is the main purpose of a privacy policy? 
  • What will happen to my website if I do not have a privacy policy?
  • Are privacy policy generators free?
  • What does a privacy policy explain? 
  • What should a privacy police include? 

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