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Why Privacy Policies Are Important

When it comes to website privacy policies, both site visitors and site owners have a lot to gain. For starters, website standards recommend that all websites have a privacy policy in place, especially marketing companies like That One Firm. This is practice is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps protect site visitors’ personal information. By stating how the site collects and uses information upfront, site visitors can make an informed decision about whether or not to provide their personal data. Additionally, having a privacy policy in place increases a business’ credibility.

After all, if a company takes its customers’ privacy seriously, it’s more likely to be trusted with sensitive information. Finally, there are legal concerns for businesses that don’t have a privacy policy in place. In the United States, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulate how businesses handle their site visitors’ personal data. By having a privacy policy in place, businesses can help protect themselves from legal issues that could arise from mishandling this sensitive information.

5 reasons why a privacy policy increases a business’ credibility:

  • The standards recommend it. Several standards organizations urge website owners to have a privacy policy in place on their websites, including the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which gives it out as an example of best practices for web standards, and The Direct Marketing Association. It’s important to note that standards aren’t laws, but they do indicate what is considered good practices by leading experts.
  • Site visitors can make informed decisions about providing their personal information. Knowing how a website uses the information gathered from site visitors helps them decide whether or not to give out their contact information, social media profiles, and more.
  • If a business values its customers’ privacy, it’s likely to be trustworthy with that sensitive data. It stands to reason that businesses who take their customers’ privacy seriously would protect the information they’re entrusted with. The standards recommend good practices for protecting customer data in order to build trust between businesses and consumers; therefore, having one in place is important for building this trust relationship online as well as offline.
  • Having a privacy policy protects businesses from legal issues regarding customer data collection if these standards are followed.
  • Having a privacy policy in place is best practice for online businesses, which is important for building trust with consumers.

5 questions people have about online privacy:

Q: Can I still use my favorite website even though they don’t have a privacy policy?

A: Although standards recommend that websites have a privacy policy in place, it’s not required by law. Therefore, the website can still be used even if they don’t have one. However, standards organizations do recommend that if it isn’t already in place, then it should be implemented as soon as possible. Additionally, site visitors are able to make informed decisions about whether or not their personal information will be collected when visiting a website with no privacy policy in view. Finally, standards organizations’ recommendations help businesses protect themselves from legal issues that could arise from mishandling sensitive data without having a policy in place to outline their standards and practices.

Q: What are the legal implications of not having a privacy policy in place on my site?

A: If standards aren’t followed, businesses risk legal issues and put themselves at risk for lawsuits from those affected by their mishandling of sensitive data. This is particularly important to keep in mind when handling site visitors’ personal information or social media profiles as this could potentially violate the standards put forth under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Q: How do standards organizations recommend I approach user data when putting together my privacy policy?

A: Approaching data collection on-site visitors begins with how you’ll collect that data – whether through social login, cookies, or other technologies – and then using that information responsibly using your privacy policy as a guide. It’s also important to note that these standards help websites protect themselves against sources like negative SEO and even hacking. Businesses should also make it easy for site visitors to access their privacy policy on all devices, including mobile phones.

Q: When should I update my existing privacy policy or implement one if it isn’t already in place?

A: It’s best practice for businesses change their privacy policy regularly as standards continue to update, but especially when big changes are made to existing standards or entirely new standards are implemented.

Q: What standards should I be following for my privacy policy?

A: Five standards that are important include the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), and Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA). These standards help businesses protect themselves from legal threats related to mishandling sensitive data by putting processes in place on how the information is collected, used, shared with third parties, and stored by the business. Continuing to update standards as they change or new standards are implemented helps websites protect themselves from legal threats and create a process to allow site visitors to make informed decisions about what personal data will be collected on their visits to the site.

Another important standards organization, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), defines standards for how businesses can collect user data in order to help website visitors understand how this information will be used when they visit a website. Likewise, standards organizations like W3C provide technical standards that include machine-readable explanations of privacy policies so consumers can easily identify if sensitive information is being collected through cookies or other tracking tools during their visits. These standards also outline expectations for transparency around these practices with clear language regarding data collection and use.

Key Take Away Points To Remember and Consider

1. A website’s privacy policy is an important part of its overall standards and practices for data privacy. By having a privacy policy in place, businesses can communicate their standards and practices for data privacy to their site visitors. This policy should also outline how the business will use the data it collects from site visitors, including any sharing of information with third-party services. Having a privacy policy in place is important for both site visitors and site owners as it helps ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to data privacy.

2. Businesses should be aware of regulatory agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) who put standards in place related to data privacy. These standards help protect site visitors from businesses that may not follow best practices for data privacy.

3. A privacy policy is also important for increasing a business’ credibility. By adhering to standards and practices related to data privacy, businesses demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding their site visitors’ information. This can help build trust with site visitors and encourage them to provide more personal information when visiting the site.

4. Having a privacy policy in place helps businesses protect themselves from legal threats related to data privacy. Compliance with standards set by regulatory agencies like the FTC and COPPA can help reduce the risk of legal action being taken against a business for mishandling sensitive data.

5. Site visitors have a number of questions about online privacy, including how their information will be used online and whether they can opt out of being tracked by site owners. Having a privacy policy in place should clear up any confusion about how a business will use sensitive data by providing a detailed explanation of standards and practices related to data privacy.

6. In the United States, standards for online privacy protection come from regulatory agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The standards put in place by these agencies help protect both businesses as well as their site visitors from legal threats related to issues with data privacy standards.

Online activity is becoming more scrutinized by external regulators every day, putting the onus on internet users themselves to safeguard their information from prying eyes that may seek to use it for commercial or personal gain. With recent Facebook controversies continuing to make headlines, internet users are more aware than ever of the importance of their data privacy standards, and should actively take steps to protect themselves from the legal threats that accompany any mishandling of sensitive information.