A privacy policy is a very important document as it tells your visitors what type of data you collect, as well as how you will use that data. Because you may be explaining difficult concepts to your visitors, it is important that the privacy policy is easy to understand and that it has as little legal and technical jargon as possible.

If you want to learn how to create your own privacy policy, keep reading

Start by Collecting Data

When writing your own privacy policy, you should collect data on things like:

  • What type of user information your site collects. Determine if the information can be used to identify a person and modify the types of data you collect to avoid that. Some of the personally identifiable information you could collect include:
    • Names
    • Phone Numbers
    • Addresses
    • E-mail addresses
    • Ip addresses
    • Access dates and times
    • User location
  • Why you are collecting this information. Remember that you will need to tell your visitors why you are collecting the data. For example, is it to improve their user experience? It is to facilitate transactions?
  • How the data is collected. These can include methods such as:
    • Surveys
    • Forms
    • Registration
    • Cookies
    •  Newsletter signups
    • During billing and checking out
    • Weblogs
  • Who will have access to the data? This is another crucial piece of information, so you need to make a complete list of who will have access. Some of the people who might have access to the data include third parties like Google for Google Analytics and the website administrator.
  • What data rights the user has.
    • Do you have consent to collect user data? What happens when a user does not give their consent?
    • How can a user prohibit the collection of their data?
    • Can the web hosting company get access to user data?
    • How long will the information be stored?
    • Can a user delete all their data? How can they do that?
  • How will users be notified when the privacy policy changes?
  • How will the user data be protected?
    • Encryption?
    • Computer safeguards?
    • Physical access controls?

Writing the Actual Privacy Policy

Once you know all the areas you need to address, it is time to start writing the privacy policy. When doing this, you have to strike a balance between simplicity and length. You want a privacy policy that can be understood by everyone, but one that does not oversimplify things and make the privacy policy too long.

Start by explaining what different terms mean and then you can go into other details in subsequent paragraphs. Try to keep legal and technical jargon to a minimum unless you need it. Also, try to be transparent in all ways that data is collected and used. That way, you have cover in case something happens to the data you collect.

Do note that even though your website might not target children, you have to include clauses that address child privacy. When you have a clause explaining that you do not collect information on children who are 13 years or younger, you limit your legal liability in case a child ever sends you their information.

If you do target teenagers or children, it would be important to include a separate privacy policy that addresses that. Remember that the way children’s data is handled is very different from the way you would handle adult data.

If You Do Not Want to Start from Scratch

Sometimes, you might look at all the clauses you need to add and be intimidated. It happens to a lot of people and that is why some website owners need a bit of help when creating their privacy policies.

A good place to start would be to use a privacy policy generator. There are several good privacy policy generators that you could use to get started. All they ask for is your business information and other details about your business. Once you fill those out, they will send your privacy policy that you can easily add to your site.

Once you receive it, you can customize it to better suit your business and website. You can also add other clauses to limit your liability like the children’s privacy policy discussed above.

Sometimes, it pays to have a legal expert look at your privacy policy. This is so that they can ensure there are no legal loopholes that could come back to haunt you.

Creating your own privacy policy does not have to be hard. Once you collect all the information you need to include in it, things get even easier.

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