Does Your Website Need a Privacy Policy?

Does Your Website Need a Privacy Policy?

In today’s day and age of security and being respectful of a person’s privacy, it’s important to let website visitors know they are being tracked. No matter the reason why a person is tracked, letting them know builds a sense of trust. Not only is a privacy policy easy to create for a website, it will help website owners assure visitors their information isn’t being sold anywhere.

The Need for Privacy

Due to information being made public about large companies like Facebook and Google buying and selling users’ information, the need for privacy is at an all time high. Consumers want to be able to use these platforms, other social media tools and business-based websites without having all of their information stolen or compromised. Further, anywhere a website collects payment through credit card or a PayPal transaction should notify users that their information is being collected.

Do People Need to Worry About Being Hacked?

When it comes to a small business website, most people will not have their information hacked. It’s customary for a website to notify the user of their privacy but it in no way means their information is being stolen. Users of websites with a privacy policy should feel comfortable accepting the policy, knowing their information is tracked for user behavior and possible marketing purposes. In most cases and especially for small businesses, a site will not be hacked for the purpose of stealing personal information.

What Is the Difference Between GDPR and CCPA?

GDPR is the privacy policy originated in the United Kingdom. Due to privacy concerns, the country made it a law for websites to notify their visitors that they are tracked. Similarly, in the United States, the state of California adopted the California Consumer Privacy Act – CCPA. This also makes it a law (with several conditions) to notify users that their information is being recorded. Most websites should specify one or the other, if not both, if they are receiving traffic from other countries.

How Do You Create a Privacy Policy?

This question is really dependent on a website’s platform. While there are plenty of tools out there, not all of them address the privacy issue. For example, a WordPress website does not make it mandatory to display a privacy policy. It’s highly encouraged, but not mandatory. Conversely, GoDaddy powered websites (using the GoDaddy builder) do require a privacy policy notice if a website owner plans to use tools like Google Analytics. For example, this website shows its users a privacy notice for the sole purpose of being able to track its visitors through Google Analytics.

Be sure to ask your website provider about what kind of privacy tools it can provide.

What Are the Consequences Of Avoiding Privacy?

This is a really common question and although it is unclear from state-to-state, it’s encouraged to let users know they are being tracked. If it came down to a legal proceeding and you could not prove that your website notified users of their privacy, you could find yourself with a lawsuit and steep fines.

If you have any questions about how your local government treats policy notices, be sure to reach out to your nearest representative.

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