Do You Really Need a Privacy Policy?

Privacy PolicyIf you run a website, you need a privacy policy. It may be easier to make money from a blog and website compared to a traditional business, but you still have to follow specific legal requirements.

You won’t need to check the zoning laws or get any time of building permit. However, you will need to take care of some legal things for your blog and website. Even if you’re not making any money from your site yet, a privacy policy is necessary.

When you start collecting any type of information from visitors, display any type of ads or track visitors for analytics, you will need a privacy policy.

What is a Privacy Policy?

Your privacy policy is a document providing the details of the type of personal information you collect, how you store it and how you use it. The exact requirements will depend on the laws and policies applicable to your situation. Often, your privacy policy will also define what “personal information” is to your website. This may include an IP address, browser cookies, names, email addresses and more.

Privacy is considered a fundamental human right by many countries. Laws have been passed to protect individuals from collected information being shared or used without prior knowledge. The data privacy laws require anybody collecting personal information to state how they will be using it on their website.

If you don’t follow the privacy laws, you can be fined or even prosecuted. Make sure you have a privacy polity and you don’t violate it.

Why do you Need a Privacy Policy?

ComplianceYou didn’t start your blog to deal with legal mumbo jumbo. You started it to share your knowledge, opinion and information with the world. However, you need a privacy policy for many reasons including:

  • It may be required by law, depending on the country you live in and the information you collect.
  • A third-party service you plan to use may require it, such as Amazon Affiliates or Google AdSense.
  • It’s the right thing to do for you and your visitors. You should be protected and transparent with visitors about the information you collect and how you will use it.

It’s best to have a privacy policy, even if you’re not required to by the laws of your country.

What should your Privacy Policy Include?

The information required in your privacy policy depends on what laws or policies govern your country. Most privacy policies should include:

  • Your name or business name, contact information and location
  • The type of information you will be collecting, such as email addresses, names, cookies or IP addresses
  • How you will collect the information
  • How you will store the information
  • Opt-out instructions, along with whether you will be sharing the information or not
  • Any third-party services you will be using that will collect information

If you plan to use Google AdSense, you will also need to let your users know that Google collects cookies and uses the DoubleClick cookie. There are other things you will also need to include if you use Google AdSense. You can find a full rundown of what to include in your privacy policy for Google within the Google AdSense terms of service.

How to Create a Privacy Policy

Privacy LawsYou may be wondering if there is an easy way to create the right privacy policy for your website. It can be tedious and difficult to try and write one yourself. Instead, you can use the Privacy Policy Generator, which will help create a free privacy policy for your website. If you will be earning money from your site, there is a fee for the privacy policy.

Another option is the Shopify Privacy Policy Generator. This type of privacy policy is specific to eCommerce websites, however. You can also use the International Privacy Laws by Country to help you find out if you need a privacy policy. This set of laws will help you with creating the right privacy policy for your needs.

It may seem like a pain, but you need to put your privacy policy in place today. Waiting any longer than you have to will not help you in any way at all. Protect yourself and your website with a privacy policy before it’s too late.

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