Websites collect data.  Some use this information responsibly. Some do not!

This year Facebook was caught in some heat. They collect a LOT of private data from users, and give them the option to hide their data through user settings. It was discovered that even though users were setting their information to private, cell phone companies (and some cellphone USERS) had access to nearly 300,000 Facebook users’ private information. For reasons like this, it is CRITICAL (and legally required) to include a privacy policy on your website. For more info on the Facebook data scandal, click here.

WHAT IS A PRIVACY POLICY?

The way data is used differs GREATLY from site to site, but legally EACH website must have a Privacy Policy. A Privacy Policy is a page or snippet stating how a website is going to use the information that is gathered from users. This information can include first name, last name, email address, phone number, and more. Of course if you do not want to give people your private information, the simplest solution is to not enter anything into any websites – but many people DO enter this info for goods and services. It is your responsibility as a website owner to inform your users how you will be using their private information. Here are 3 reasons why having a privacy policy will benefit your business.

  1. It is LEGALLY required!

Simply put – Privacy Policies are a legal requirement for websites. The website owner has a legal responsibility to disclose what information is collected from users, and how that information is used. The privacy policy is effectively a contract that users can (and should) read through before continuing to use your website. This gives them the opportunity to decide whether or not they are comfortable continuing to use the site, and what information they are willing to submit – which leads to the next point! For more specific information about privacy policies, click here!

2. Privacy Policies are great tools to build trust with users. 

Transparency is a VERY big part of retaining and maintaining client relationships. The more clear and concise you can be with your policy, the more your clients will understand about you as a business owner and operator. People want to trust that their information is being used responsibly and safely.

3. Third-Party services require one.

Services such as Google Analytics require a privacy policy is made available to users. Having a privacy policy allows you to use plug-ins otherwise unavailable to you to enhance your website functionality and appearance!