When to Use a Privacy Policy and Essentials to Include – 2024 Guide

img source: freepik.com

The whole world today is affected by the very common issue with personal data protection and unclear website conditions. That’s why every now and then some private information for some group of people leaks, and it’s shared with the rest of the world. No matter what type of website you have, it’s always a nice idea to incorporate a privacy policy and terms of use. Keep in mind that when you create it, it must be compatible with your country’s laws, and cover every possible aspect, without forgetting to mention how the personal data of your users, including the login details, will be stored and protected on your website.

According to simplylawtemplates.com, the privacy policy is a document or section on a website that transparently explains how the personal data is used, and which details are collected when the users are logging in to their account. For example, if you own an eCommerce website or online store, you must inform your customers that you need their name, email address, shipping address, and of course, their card number so they can proceed with the payment. Use a privacy policy if you collect or in any way process personal information through the website, making it compatible with the laws. Also, try to cover what happens if the data is misused outside your country.

Inform all your users why and how you collect the information, and for what are you using it. Don’t forget to mention if there are other linked websites, or if you share some of them with third parties. For example, if you are based in the United Kingdom, you must create the policy according to GDPR and the local data protection laws. Even if you use cookies, the customers should absolutely know that.

Why do you need that and what to include?

img source: freepik.com

For the EU and UK, these things are regulated by the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and outside of it, different rules apply. With a nicely incorporated policy, your users will always be able to confirm if they allow cookies, and how the personal data is stored. We can’t pre-define what type of information will be collected and used, because that depends on the type of your website. For example, some sites need only email and phone numbers, but the others are using the IP address and bank details.

When you allow the cookies, you are downloading files that are stored in your computer, and they are using your behavioral patterns, so they can recognize and predict what do you need next. Probably you’ve seen that once you search for something, in the next days, or even weeks, you will see similar products and suggestions. But, the privacy policy is regulating the way they work, and the user can limit the online services, or even decide to avoid using some if they don’t want to share those details and to give permission for optimizing the experience.

At the same time, this kind of policy requires you have listed your:

  • The business’s name
  • The country where it’s registered
  • The certificate number
  • Address of the headquarters
  • Phone and email contact details
  • “About Us” section
img source: freepik.com

Having all of these things listed at the very beginning, your customers will know you are a serious company, and they will be more likely to use your services. Also, this lets you cover the privacy details you ask them to give you. You can also find it as “website privacy policy”, “data protection policy”, or “online privacy policy” – it’s all the same.

At the same time, you should know that different policies apply to private or public companies and businesses, but anyway, it offers legal protection for both sides that are using the service. Make sure that you always link the privacy policy with the terms of use, and vice versa, so the users can easily find it and get informed about every aspect.

When you want to build trust between you and your customers, you must start with this part. Today everyone is concerned about privacy issues, but anyway, we all see how people are sharing everything through social media, but they are afraid to shop online. Once you gain their trust, you can be sure they will become your loyal customers who will recommend you to their friends and family.

When do I need a privacy policy?

Img source: pexels.com

Now, when you know what’s that about, we will explain when do you need it. If you want to launch an eCommerce website or any type of online shop, you will also offer an option for the customers to pay the order immediately, or to pay when it’s shipped to the address. Or, you may need that if you are running any type of website that requires at least the full name and surname of the user.

At the moment you create it, the privacy policy is maybe the first thing you have to include there, and even after that list the products and services you are offering. Encourage your customers to read it, and have the active link included in almost every step of the purchase process. The people sometimes don’t want to read long texts, thinking it’s too boring and they will lose time for nothing. But, the truth is that this particular policy is the most important document if there is some legal issue.

At the very end of this article, we will also mention that every privacy policy document can be changed and updated, especially if there are new laws in the country. After you do that, you must inform the customers about the changes, even if that means you will send them popups, so you can make sure they’ve seen it.

The point is to ensure them their personal information they submit to the website is always safe and secure, and you are doing everything to keep the things like that. Remind them not to share their personal details with other users, or with their friends, so they can protect themselves from fraud. Don’t skip this step if you are sure you want to build trust between you and them.