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Provide Peace of Mind with a Privacy Policy!

Provide Peace of Mind with a Privacy Policy!

Over the last couple of months I’ve been encouraging you to make sure your online presence is fully compliant with the law.

We’ve already talked about how the data protection act affects your facebook page and the terrific Bob Toovey offered up his wisdom about the EU Cookie Law too.

But there is another piece of the puzzle you may want to consider.

The proposal issued recently by the EU justice commissioner, Viviane Reding to modernise data protection laws contains the following statement:-

“As a general rule, any processing of personal data will require providing clear and simple information to concerned individuals as well as obtaining specific and explicit consent by such individuals for the processing of their data (Opt-in), other than in cases in which the data protection regime explicitly allows the processing of personal data.”

Now the consent part of that statement is exactly what was dealt with in Bob Tooveys guest post. But as good as the plug-ins recommended in that post may be, most of them don’t provide the ‘clear and simple information’ to visitors of your website about what you will or will not do with their data.

Keeping your website legal

This can be covered by having Privacy Policy available to view on your website.

What is a Privacy Policy? Well, according to Wikipedia a Privacy policy is “a statement or a legal document (privacy law) that discloses the ways a party gathers, uses, discloses and manages a customer or client’s data. Personal information can be anything that can be used to identify an individual.”

You can write your own privacy policy, but personally I felt it was better to purchase a policy template that I could adapt. It’s much quicker than researching all the ins and outs that need to be included for one thing, and another argument in it’s favour is the cost. I found several websites that offered these for less than £20

A good privacy policy should cover the following topics:-

  • What information is collected
  • Cookie types,
    • What they do & which are permanent or temporary
    • When the temporary (or ‘session’) cookies are deleted
  • What personal information submitted will be used for.
  • Any disclosures of personal information that may be made
  • Disclosures that will not be made.
  • Any international data transfers that may happen
  • Security provided for personal information
  • Provision for Policy amendments
  • The rights of the website visitor
  • How to contact you.
  • Your Data Registration number (unless you are exempt)

You can see my Privacy Policy here and as you can also see it shows as a permanent link in the black bar above.

The privacy policy on my website came from SEQ Legal and I found both the policy and the service excellent, but if you do wish to shop around here are a few other sites I found that do the same thing.

http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/static/html/detail-567.html

http://www.privacypolicytemplate.co.uk/

http://www.diylegals.co.uk/ecommerce/privacy-policy-template/

Over to you, have you ever clicked on the privacy policy link on a website? Does your website have a privacy policy already? Or is this all news to you? Please join in the discussion in the comments below!

Keeping your blog legal,

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