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Is Privacy Policy Required by Law?

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Due to technological advancement, almost everything these days can be done online in just a click away. From transportation, communication, and even education, technology does have its way on how to make the lives of the people easier. With how much technology can benefit people, sometimes, the drawbacks come alongside, which is perfectly normal because the design and features come with limitations too.

These days, privacy laws introduced across the globe, which is permission whether a person allows a website to collect their personal information or not, one of which is the Privacy Policy that is often found in websites and even in mobile applications. Apart from websites and applications, third-party services also require having a Privacy Policy to enhance the performance of a website.

In this post, we will help you understand how it works, what should be included, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of Privacy Policy. This way, it would be easier to comply with digital rules and regulations. Creating your own would be best in order to set transparency between the user and the developer. Read on and know more about Privacy Policy.

What is the Privacy Policy?

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A Privacy Policy is a legal agreement between the user and the developer of the website. They come with an explanation about the data gathered from the visitors of the website and in what ways does the developer keeps it safe. The coverage of the personal information they protect includes the user’s full name, birth date, e-mail address, billing address, phone numbers, bank details, and even social security numbers.

With all these collected data, Privacy Policy is liable for keeping them stored and safe from hackers and illegal online invaders. The coverage of the Privacy Policy includes data storage, security, and access, data collection, data transactions, information collected by the application or the website, and other websites and organizations affiliated to the developer. It may seem disregarded by most people who are browsing the internet, but it will turn the tables once the population of the people who knows how it works starts to know more about Privacy Policy.

What Should be Included in the Privacy Policy?

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The next big thing would be the content of the Privacy Policy. For professional website developers, it is normal to put up their own Privacy Policy to protect both parts, such as the user and the developer. In order to write a personalized one, they must know what the contents that should be written on it are. Considering that it is a legal agreement, you have to properly address all the requirements in state and across the borders together with their legal jurisdictions. Read on and know what’s on the list.

1.   Website Owner or Developer

It is just right to put the name of the website owner or developer. Considering that this is a legal agreement, it would be best to stay clear about the important details about who is the Privacy Policy addressed and who addressed it. This way,  it would be easier to stay transparent about the possible legal actions and settlements they might face in case of hacking and illegal intrusion.

2.   What are the Required Data to be Collected?

Be clear on the required data the website is collecting. This includes the full name, date of birth, SSN, maiden name, and other important details that constitute your identity. This is why sometimes, web visitors sign-up or log-in with a dummy account because the website doesn’t seem clear about their intentions to their visitors.

3.   Why is the Data Required to be Collected?

What is it for? Why do you need to collect the required data? Always state the reasons for what does this personal information serves. It is quite ironic to require personal information without stating what it is for. Set your intentions straight when it comes to writing a Privacy Policy in order to give the web visitors an idea.

4.   Include the Applicability of the Privacy Policy

State where does the Privacy Policy applies. Clearly state details about cross-border data transfers because of these help in facilitating and measuring the terms of compliance of the website access. In each country or state, there is a designated law or mandate about complying with including legal agreements for online activities such as the Privacy Policy. The best example would be Europe’s GDPR and Australia’s APPs.

5.   When is the Date of Effectivity?

Considering that this is a written legal agreement, it is just right to state the date of effectivity to inform those people who accessed prior to the date about the agreement. Do not forget about the importance of dates in legal writings such as the Privacy Policy.

6.   What are the Rights of the Users?

In the case of a data breach, illegal website intrusion, and data-stealing and destruction, what are the rights of the users? Considering that the website is walking storage of the visitor’s personal information and such, what are they entitled to? Some website developers allow requests from the visitors for them to see the stored data, erase the data, and even block it.

7.   Notifying the Visitors in Cases of Privacy Policy Update

Since the Privacy Policy is an online legal agreement, as the web owner or developer, it is your duty to inform the visitors in cases of altering or updating the content of the Privacy Policy. Both parties should be informed about changes in the contract.

Is Including Privacy Policy Mandatory?

If the website or online business is delivering activities that involve data collection, yes, it is mandatory. These data are very important to every person because it can be used to identify and validate a person’s identity. It is just right to allow these data to be legally protected by different laws across the globe, requiring websites to have a Privacy Policy. All the information they require is already enough for a person to illegally use that information.

In the United States of America, there are different laws involving both state and federal laws include provisions when data privacy comes to discussion. The department responsible for these situations is the FTC or the Federal Trade Commission. Their fundamental responsibility is to protect all the collected data from the consumers within the borders of the USA. Here is a list of the laws that discuss and state involving data privacy.

  • The Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984
  • The Americans with Disability Act
  • The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986
  • The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
  • The Consumer Credit Reporting Control Act
  • The Computer Security Act of 1997
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act
  • The California Online Privacy Protection Act

Why Should There be a Privacy Policy?

Having a Privacy Policy is one way of gaining the trust of the websites and applications’ daily visitors. Here is a list of the reasons why you should have a Privacy Policy set up on your website.

1.   Required by Law

The fundamental reason why Privacy Policy exists is due to the requirement of the law. The website and the visitor both needs it in order to protect and secure the acquired information during the web access. In the United States of America, one of the laws governing the Privacy Policy is the CalOPPA or the California Online Privacy Protection Act. It states that when a website collects data such as personal information from users who are based in California, the website owner and developer is required to have a legal agreement or statement for the visitors to view that will further help them understand the privacy measures the website is practicing.

2.   Required by the Third-Party Services Used for the Website

There are numerous third-party services that can be found online to enhance the mobility of the website or an application. They require a Privacy Policy due to information acquisition in order to have access to the use of multiple services that the website comes along with.

3.   Website Visitors Require Protection for Data Acquisition

Privacy Policy is one way of having the websites’ visitors to trust the site. People have a lot to say when it comes to stating their personal information on a website. Online transactions and activities can be quite disturbing these days. Due to the advanced technology, the probability of getting hacked and having personal information illegally accessed is getting higher and higher on an annual basis. The Privacy Policy is one way of being transparent with the visitors when it comes to the processes or procedures taking place within the website as they handle their personal information.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you’re starting up an online website or business, you got to have it all, whether if it is required or not. Always think of the welfare of the people who are going to access the website. Considering that this is digital transactions, sometimes, the people who are held liable are harder to coordinate with because of a lack of a legal agreement. This is one of the key steps in gaining the trust of the customers. They trust websites that are very transparent when it comes to the rights of the visitors. It is worth it in the long run.

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