Describing Your Practices
State that the information you collect is provided voluntarily.
- The information you collect can include the person’s name, age, address, interests, or any other information that they give to you through your website.
Tell people what information you collect and why.
Whether it’s to tailor custom sales offers based on their information and searches, or to market new products to them, use language that tells visitors to your site why you’re collecting information from them. They won’t feel like their privacy has been violated if you’re upfront and clear with them.
- Your policy could say something like, “We may use your information to contact you in the future with promotional offers.”
Let people know that you will not give their information away.
Write that you will not give, sell, or rent the information that you collect to a third party such as an advertising company. People will be more trusting of your company and your website if your policy explicitly states that you will not give their information to someone else.
- Visitors to your website are much more likely to give you information that you can use to market to them if they feel safe knowing that you won’t misuse or give their information away.
Allow people to opt-out of having their information collected.
Explain to the visitor of your website that they can choose to not have their information collected or used if they don’t want to. Then, tell them how they can do it so it’s simple and easy for them.
- You could say something like, “Contact us by phone or email if you do not want us to collect or use your information, or if you would like us to delete the information that we have obtained.” Then, include the contact information for them.
Building Trust with Transparency
Make sure people know their financial information is protected.
Detail the encryption and security measures you’ve taken to protect people’s sensitive information such as their home address and payment information. That way, people feel comfortable giving you their information whenever they make a purchase or provide payment for a service.
- If people don’t feel comfortable paying you through your website, you could lose out on potential income through it.
- Include language like, “We take the security of your personal information very seriously. Any section of this website that collects personal or financial information is encrypted to protect it and is only accessed by our employees in order to process payments.”
Provide links to allow people to see the data you’ve collected.
- If you’re transparent with people, they’re more likely to revise incorrect information so you can market or appeal to them more effectively.
- Add a link at the bottom of your policy that says something like, “To see your information so we can make sure we’ve got everything correct, click here!”
Tell people what they can do if they feel the policy has been violated.
- Tell people that they can contact their government’s consumer agency to report privacy violations. For example, if they’re in the US, they can report a privacy violation online by visiting: https://www.usa.gov/privacy.
Drafting Your Policy
- Make sure you choose to add sections that make sense for your business. For example, if you plan to collect data so you can sell dresses of a certain size and style to a visitor, make sure you include language that says that you collect information to tailor promotional offers.
- Look online for blank templates you can download and use to draft your own policies. You can find blank templates at Rocket Lawyer, Form Swift, and Forms Templates.
- Compare your policy to other website’s privacy policies so you can make sure you’re including basic information.
Hire a lawyer for the most legally binding policy.
- Hiring a lawyer is the most expensive option.