- Different countries have different rules and regulations that cover the collection of personal data.
First, the visitor has the chance to understand how data is collected and for what purposes. Furthermore, they can rest assured that when a website collects personal information, that is done in compliance to laws and regulations.
So, what kind of data is considered personal information? Here are examples of the most common types of personal information tracked by websites:
- Email address
- Home address
- Phone number
- Credit card number
- Date of birth
- IP address
Even if your business is not located in a country where the laws are in place to regulate the collection of personal data, you might have people from that country visiting and using your website. Therefore, your business should comply with the law of that country.
From General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
Europe has one of the strictest privacy protection laws in the world. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in 2018 and it regulates how businesses should handle personal data collected online. This is defined by Articles 12, 13 and 14.
The United States doesn’t have strict data privacy laws in place at the federal level. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has policies in place that help protect personal data and ensure that websites are operating fairly and are not selling private information or leaving it unprotected for hackers.
California has more strict regulations for businesses operating in their state. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) require that privacy policies are easily accessible and that website owners adhere to all regulations.
As you can see, no matter where your business is based and operates, privacy policies are far-reaching. Chances are you’ll get visitors from all around the world. Therefore, you should be aware of the different data collection laws and regulations so you can comply with them and avoid facing legal actions or fines.
What are cookies and how do they collect data?
Web cookies, or HTTP cookies, are small files hosted on the user’s computer. They are designed to hold specific data connected to a particular website. So, we cannot discuss privacy policies without discussing cookies as well.
How does a cookie work? For example, when you create an account online and choose to save your username and password so you can automatically log in the next time, this information is stored in a cookie.
Using cookies helps streamline visitors’ browsing experience and helps website owners track certain metrics like how many visitors are on their website at any given time.
Website visitors are usually more familiar with cookies than privacy policies because of the cookie banners that show up and, in some cases, prevent the visitor from viewing content until they accept or reject cookies.
Depending on the website, visitors may have three options to choose from when it comes to cookies:
- Accept cookies
- Reject cookies
- Set cookie preferences
In the third case, the visitor has the chance to customize which cookies are allowed and which ones are rejected. Some websites prevent visitors from rejecting all cookies, but allow them to select only the ones that are deemed necessary by the website.
Do you have a WAcademy website, but you still do not have a cookie banner? We can help you set it up!
In short, the T&C agreement should inform your user what they’ll be required to do once they subscribe to or purchase your service. While including a T&C agreement is not required by law, it’s useful to have it simply to protect your business from any liability or complaints.
It’s common practice to link to both at the very bottom of the page, and so visitors expect to find both the policy and the agreement there.
Option 1: Create one yourself
- Who collects visitor data? (This section should include your business name, address, location and contact details)
- What purposes is the information collected for?
- What kind of personal information is collected?
- How is personal information collected?
- How do you share collected information?
- Do you share the collected information with third-party services providers?
- Why do you share collected information?
- How can visitors contact you in case they want to submit a complaint?
Option 2: Hire an expert
If you can hire a real expert you can trust, you will know that the information is correct, complies with different laws and is up to date.
Option 3: Use a template generator
This option certainly is easier than creating the policy yourself. However, you must make sure you use a reputable template generator that complies with the different applicable laws and has up-to-date information.
Let’s keep it private!
Privacy is no laughing matter, and once you’re responsible for a website, the privacy of your visitors, users or customers should be high on your priority list. After all, a website cannot earn customer trust if it does not clearly respect personal data protection and privacy laws.