Why Privacy Policy Plus Terms And Conditions Are Essential (And Required) For Your Website

Why Privacy Policy Plus Terms And Conditions Are Essential (And Required) For Your Website

Why Privacy Policy Plus Terms And Conditions Are Essential (And Required) For Your Website

No matter where your business or website is located, your information-collecting online presence must comply with a wide range of privacy and consumer protection regulations from around the world. A compliant private policy must be displayed on your website if you collect any information from visitors – even just a name and email address. Plus, terms and conditions should be provided to visitors for your own protection and to ensure the best user experience.

That’s right: Every business that can be accessed from afar – a Peachtree City, Georgia online stationery store or a Fayetteville, Georgia employment agency, for example – must comply with federal consumer protection laws, privacy laws in the U.S. states plus laws and regulations from Canada, Australia and around the world if people in those areas may use the site.

Privacy laws are designed to protect the citizens or residents of a state, country or other jurisdiction, and these protections don’t care where your business is located. Yet recent AI research indicates that an astounding 97 percent of studied websites fail to comply with the European Union’s GDPR, perhaps the most highly enforced of the world’s privacy laws.

Does My Website Need A Privacy Policy?

Almost every website that collects information from users needs a compliant privacy policy that provides relevant disclosures. Spectra Web Designs in Tyrone, Georgia, is an experienced Website Designer Agency that can generate a privacy policy that’s right for you – and keep it up to date. You should not depend on flawed online privacy policy generators for something this important.

Your company must not overlook a privacy policy for your website if you collect personal information through email signups, eCommerce shipping, and payments or for analytics.

Privacy policies are required by a long list of laws, including these:

  • CalOPPA: California Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003, which includes the potential of large fines for companies located anywhere in the world that collect personally identifiable information without posting a privacy notice
  • CCPA: California Consumer Privacy Act, which applies to the largest companies and biggest data sharers operating in California or doing business with Californians and requires very specific disclosures
  • GDPR: General Data Protection Regulations of the European Union, which applies to any company that sells to or monitors activities of European Union residents and is among the most heavily enforced privacy regulations in the world
  • Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 603A
  • DOPPA: Delaware Online Privacy and Protection Act
  • VCDPA: Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act
  • Colorado Privacy Act
  • Utah Consumer Privacy Act
  • Connecticut SB6
  • PIPEDA: Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
  • Quebec Bill 64
  • Australia Privacy Act of 1988

If your company is involved in healthcare, HIPPA privacy regulations may apply as well. This is not a complete list of privacy and consumer protection laws, and admittedly, some may not apply to your business. But many apply widely to businesses that operate online. That means if your Georgia business fails to comply with one of these requirements from elsewhere, you could be fined or sued for noncompliance.

6 More Reasons Your Website Should Have A Privacy Policy

Legal compliance isn’t the only reason your website should have a policy posted regarding privacy. Here are six additional reasons your website needs a privacy notice:

  • Google, Apple, and other third parties may require it if you put an app in their app stores or work with them in another way
  • Consumers are more demanding than ever and insist on transparency and protections regarding how their personal information is used.
  • Consumers expect to see a privacy policy page (and terms and conditions) and may feel uneasy if your website doesn’t include these things.
  • Some lawsuits are less likely when you have a policy in place, even if it’s flawed, because potential litigious people will think your company knows what it’s doing.
  • It helps with marketing and search engine optimization because there is evidence that search engines consider a privacy policy as a trust signal or indicator of authority when determining page rank.
  • It’s the right thing to do and satisfies ethicists who believe everyone has an ethical or moral right to privacy.

Does My Website Need A Terms And Conditions Page?

A terms and conditions (T&C) page or section is not required by law, but it’s recommended for your own protection, especially if you allow users to register for an online account for any reason. It can prevent misunderstandings and abuses on your website, provide you with a way to get rid of troublemakers, limit your liability, and more.

A T&C page – which may also be called a Terms of Service page, a Terms of Use section, or a User Agreement – is the legal agreement between you and the website user that lays out requirements and rules for using the site. (A privacy policy and a T&C agreement aren’t the only things your site may be missing. You may be missing these 5 things every website should have.)

Spectra Web Designs in Tyrone, Georgia, can create a website terms and conditions page for your Georgia business that includes sections about copyright, subscriptions, account deactivation for abuse, forbidden uses of your site, and other details that specify how your company interacts online with its website users. Without this agreement, you can’t limit or legally control how someone uses your site.

For example, your terms and conditions might make it clear that your images are copyrighted and can’t be used for other purposes. They might specify that spamming other users are prohibited. They could indicate that your forums or comment sections cannot be used for posting derogatory or defamatory content. The T&C agreement also specifies the penalty, which may be account termination.

Be Sure To Include Disclaimer Statements Too

Your T&C page is an excellent place to put important disclaimers. You may need disclaimers if you:

  • Advertise third-party products or service
  • Display or sell health products
  • Provide affiliate links
  • Provide health and fitness advice
  • Provides information that could be considered legal advice
  • And in other situations too.

Disclaimers are essential for protecting your business from legal liability and should state that you can’t be held responsible for how your site is used or any damages that happen from using your site. Certain advertising services like Google AdWords and affiliate programs like Amazon Associates require specific disclaimers (in addition to clearly identifying when content is an affiliate link).

Why You Should Avoid Online Policy Generators

Some companies – probably some of your competitors in Peachtree City, Tyrone, Fayetteville, Newnan, Griffin, and Thomaston – turn to online policy generators for their privacy policies, T&C agreements, and disclaimers. This is a bad idea. Here’s why:

  • Online policy generators don’t necessarily consider which privacy laws apply to you and which don’t. Professionally drafted privacy policies and T&C agreements come from people who understand you and how you conduct business.
  • Templates may not cover everything. Either they provide compliance only for a limited list of laws, or they don’t specify which laws they help you comply with – meaning they may not adequately cover any of them.
  • When you generate a privacy policy online, it’s a one-and-done deal. Your terms and conditions should change as laws are updated, or new laws go into effect. Customized privacy and T&C text is made for you and can be updated whenever it’s necessary.
  • You don’t know who wrote the text. With online page generators, your privacy policy and terms and conditions may have been written by anyone – and they may not have been written by a privacy attorney. The text could have been pulled from established sources or might have been created using a phony algorithm and faulty logic.
  • The penalties are too big to take risks. Whether your company is just getting started and innocently breaks the law or is an established business that chooses to flout the law by neglecting privacy statement requirements, you could be subject to thousands in penalties per visitor in each jurisdiction.

Don’t leave your company open to enormous fines and other legal liabilities by hoping for the best with an online privacy page generator. California, for example, may impose a fine of $2,500 per visitor to your company for site violations, and CalOPPA, just one of the state’s laws, begins to apply to your business as soon as any California resident visits your site. Even the use of Google Analytics to collect IP addresses for visit tracking can trigger the law.

Spectra Web Designs Can Help

The best website privacy policies and terms and conditions agreements are professionally written by a privacy attorney and placed appropriately by an experienced website designer. At Spectra Web Designs, we can help your Georgia business get in compliance and stay that way. Please contact us if your company is located in Tyrone, Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Newnan, Griffin, Thomaston, or anywhere in the Atlanta area. Don’t risk your business, large fines, and other compliance actions any longer.

Let us create a privacy policy plus terms and conditions for your business that are written by a privacy attorney and designed to be included on your website, not just any website. For a low startup fee and an even lower yearly recurring fee, we automatically revise these pages for you so that you’re always presenting an up-to-date version of each document and always in compliance.

You can depend on Spectra Web Designs near Atlanta for technical skill, competent solutions, and unsurpassed care when creating your legal pages, whether we created your website or not. We’d also like to show you how we can make any website more effective, more beautiful, and better represent your business.

Let’s keep in touch. Please reach out now or fill out the form below to learn more about how we can get your business noticed, help keep it legal, and ensure you’re always ahead of the curve – instead of behind it.

Small-town care and big-city precision come together at Spectra Web Designs.

Get your Privacy Policy and Terms And Conditions for your Website

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