Why You Need a Privacy Policy Page on Your Website


Do you need a privacy policy on your website? When your website collects personally identifiable information (PII) or sensitive personal information (SPI) like name, email address, birthday, contact details, etc., you should disclose to visitors what data you collect, and how you use this data. Even if you don’t use the data, you still have to say so explicitly via a privacy policy.

Aside from that, here are three other good reasons why your website should have a privacy policy:

Marketing Tools

You can’t use most of the marketing tools available online if your website doesn’t have a privacy policy. For example, you need to paste the link to your privacy policy when creating an account for Facebook Lead Ads. Similarly, Google Analytics also requires websites to not only have a privacy policy but to have one that adheres to their specific requirements. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use their services. It’s a big loss to your business not to have access to these tools.

It’s the Law

Although there isn’t a US federal law requiring businesses to put a privacy policy on their websites, some states require one, like California. It doesn’t matter if your business is based somewhere else. If there’s a possibility that your website gets a visitor from California (whether they’re a resident or a tourist), or you get a visitor from somewhere else but they happen to be a California resident, then you must have a privacy policy on your website. There’s no real way to get around it.

* It’s not just the US that you have to think about. The recent implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) within EU means you have to comply with international laws as well. Again, it doesn’t matter if your business is not based in Europe or your target audience is not European. The same principle applies. If you have visitors from EU or visitors from someplace else but are EU residents, your website has to comply with GDPR.

Be Transparent

It doesn’t hurt to be transparent. In light of recent breaches that have affected even major companies like Target, JPMorgan Chase, Equifax (to name a few), it’s understandable why many people are vigilant about protecting their personal information. These high-profile breaches have helped increase security awareness in general. Now, people are proactively asking how companies use their data, and your business should be ready with the right response.

To ensure that your website’s privacy policy is compliant and updated, one option is to get a lawyer specializing in internet law to review it for you. You can write it yourself, but it’ll entail intensive research if you aren’t already familiar with the topic. Privacy policy templates are available or copy another website’s privacy policy. But make sure your privacy policy is based on how your business uses the data you collect, so it should be tailored for your website. Should anything change with the way you handle data, your privacy policy should reflect that change, too.

Having a privacy policy is a quick and easy way to establish the trust of potential and existing customers. As well as to comply with rules and regulations. There’s no real reason why you should put it off for later. Do it now before you get in legal danger.