General Information About Website Privacy Policies
A: It’s the legal document that describes the website owner’s policy with respect to the privacy rights of site visitors.
These rights may be multi-tiered.
For example, a website visitor may have different rights and responsibilities than a paying customer with access to a restricted membership area.
Related Article: 5 Warning Signs You’re Using The Wrong Website Legal Documents
On the other hand, the lack of a policy (or a poorly drafted one) creates suspicion the website owner is dishonest or an amateur treating the site like a hobby.
Q: Are privacy policies required?
A: Although not all jurisdictions require websites to have privacy policies, some countries and states do. Of particular concern to many business website owners is the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
The problem with this is that most sites do not restrict access by geographic location. Even if you tried to restrict by country, visitors from the banned locations could still access your site using a virtual private network (VPN).
This means that if you’ve got a site with visitors from another state or country that requires sites have privacy policies, you have potential liability issues even if the location(s) where your site is based and hosted do not have such requirements.
Even if you win, it’s costly to defend against a lawsuit by a state’s attorney general or a consumer protection lawyer who attempts to get a class action certified again you as site owner for violating privacy laws you may not have even known existed.
Q: Can I save money by writing my own policy from scratch?
Would you try to stop the bleeding, stitch up the wound, and set the bone at home with a do-it-yourself cast to save a trip to the emergency room? Chances are you’d end up spending a fortune later in medical bills trying to save the arm from amputation.
The same principle applies to legal issues like online privacy rights. It’s penny-wise and pound foolish to cut corners here pretending to be an experienced Internet business lawyer…