Best Practices: What You Need in Your Website Policy

Written by Wesley Henderson

May 27, 2022

If you have a website that collects personal data from those who visit your website, it is required by law in many countries that you have a privacy policy and even if not, it’s always a good idea to be transparent with your audiences and users. This guide will cover what you need to put in your website privacy policy. Your privacy policy discloses what personal information you will collect from visitors on your website, how you collect that information, how you use it, and if you will share that information with any third parties.

What to Include in a Privacy Policy

Business Name and Contact Details

You should include your official business name and contact information in your policy that is usually at the beginning or end so the users see it. For example, Whole Foods writes out their business name and contact details in their privacy policy as: Whole Foods Market Services, Inc., 550 Bowie Street Austin, TX 78703-4644, United States.

Types of Personal Data You Collect

There are many categories of information that you can collect from your users, but here are some general categories you should include in your privacy policy:

Personal Information

This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. Your policy should clarify that the amount of information that the user provides is voluntary but providing less information could limit some of their access of the site’s features.

Usage and analytics data

This lets the user know if your business gathers usage information to evaluate how visitors on their website access and use the site. This data can help your company with troubleshooting and improving the website’s functionality.

Cookies

If your website uses cookies, disclose that you use cookies so that your business can continue to improve the website and its functionality.

Text Message data

If your website allows users to send texts to your business or to other users, you will need to disclose that your company reserves the right to retain that information indefinitely.

Why you collect Personal Data

Privacy Laws only allow you to collect personal data that you need and you are required to disclose why you need it. For example, you can say you collect personal data to fulfill contractual or legal obligations and to help you improve and develop new products and services.

How the Data is Used

Explain to the user how the data you are collecting is being used, like performing analytics and conducting research on what users click on the most. You can create a list to convey the information so that it is readable to a more general audience and try to make it as specific as possible.

How you Share Data with Third Parties

If you plan to use third parties to help you improve your website’s performance and user experience, you need to disclose that you use third parties. A third party can be something like google analytics or AdSense to monitor website visitors and to personalize advertisements. You have to explain why you use third parties as well as providing links to those third parties’ policies.

How to Opt Out of Data Collection

You will need to provide instructions on how to opt out of data collection along with a copy of any data already collected. If you have different ways users can opt out of things, make sure to include those available.

Wesley Henderson

Hi, I'm Wesley! A business attorney turned entrepreneur devoted to simplifying how you protect your business and your assets. Like you, I'm an business owner so I get it and I started Drafted Legal to help you put in place simple and sound legal strategies so you can focus on your business and not worry about getting lost in legal nuances.

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