·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


Why Do I Need a Privacy Policy for My Website?

— February 11, 2022

While all the terms and laws mentioned above might sound confusing there’s really no need for you to start studying privacy regulations around the world.

If you’re operating an online business in the US or if you’re planning to start one, you may have wondered why do you need a privacy policy for your website. What even is a privacy policy anyway?

There are three main reasons why you should add a privacy policy to your website:

  • Address your clients’ concerns
  • Abide by US and international laws
  • Expand your business by using online services that require such a policy.

If all this sounds daunting, don’t worry. We’ll explain how you can get a free privacy policy later on.

What is a privacy policy?

A privacy policy is a document or a statement on a website that explains how a company will collect, store, protect, and use the personal information provided by its users.

In this statement which will be displayed on a page of your website you need to explain what sort of information you will collect, such as:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Addresses (postal and email)
  • Payment details (credit card numbers)
  • Location (IP address, geolocalization)
  • Social Security Number
  • Social media info (if your site allows Connect via Facebook. Twitter, etc
  • Other info (health details, physical description, etc)

Also, your privacy policy needs to state how long the data will be stored by you and where. For instance, if your website will erase personal info after 90 days, your privacy policy should mention that. In some cases, you might be required to state whether the data will be kept in your files or will be stored on an external server. 

Another essential part of a privacy policy is explaining how the clients’ personal info will be used, by you or by third parties. 

Your clients need to know who else might have access to their data.

Finally, you need to provide clients with a means of reaching out to you if they have any questions about your privacy policy.

How to address clients’ privacy concerns

In today’s world, people are already concerned about their online activity being tracked. For instance, if you use Google Analytics to track users’ behavior, this must be mentioned in your privacy policy. Also, if your site uses Cookies, you need to have a pop-up asking for your clients’ consent. 

Then there’s the question of sensitive data, such as Social Security Number or bank details. Your clients need to know how you will protect their data. Your privacy policy should include information on the type of security your website uses and offer secure payments.

What are the privacy laws

The US does not have federal privacy laws, but that does not mean there are no regulations at all. For instance, you must comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations on Consumer Privacy and Data Security. If your business will attract users living in California, your privacy policy needs to comply with the requirements of the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA). This Act requires any commercial website that collects or uses personal information from California residents to have a privacy policy that details how the data is collected, used, and shared.

If your business also targets clients in the European Union, your privacy policy should meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was introduced in 2018. Be aware that the EU is actively enforcing GDPR and any non-compliant company risks hefty fines.

What other services require a privacy policy

TV showing man using binoculars with lenses replaced by the Facebook logo; image by Glen Carrie, via
Image by Glen Carrie, via

If your company is going to use services such as Facebook Lead Ads or Google AdSense, your website must have a privacy policy. 

Also, many email newsletter service providers require the same thing.

How can I get a privacy policy?

While all the terms and laws mentioned above might sound confusing there’s really no need for you to start studying privacy regulations around the world. You won’t have to bother with any of it as you can easily get a free online privacy policy using dedicated software. Basically, all you have to do is fill in a quick form detailing where you operate and what type of information your website collects and you can have your privacy policy delivered to you, ready to be uploaded to your site.

Join the conversation!