I know what you are thinking – in this world where everyone wants everything to be public, why am I talking about ‘private’?

Well, have you ever slighted before disclosing information while shopping online? There’s always a hesitation when you give out your personal information on sites. With all the misuse of information, hacking et all, it is natural for one to be cautious as to the use of such information.  At the back of your mind, I know you are thinking if anything goes wrong, can I sue these people?! Of course you can, only if the site has adhered to the privacy policy needed as per law (in some cases, not having a privacy policy can be a cause to a lawsuit) . So there you are – the reason for the word ‘private’.

Now this is a right time for you to cross out unwanted issues and get some legal stuff into your site.

Let’s quickly scan the 5 W’s of this...

What is a Privacy Policy (PP)? – It is nothing but a one-sided agreement telling your visitors you do not intend to harm their identity using their information. It is simply that the information is just that – private. It will also tell them your intentions of collecting such information, how it is managed and further used.

Why do you need this? – Simple, to be transparent in telling your visitors what you intend to do with their information and of course to comply with legislations that you are not doing anything untoward regarding the collected information.

Who needs PP? If you are doing any of the following, you must and should get a privacy policy -

  • Asking for personal/professional data (even mail id’s) through your site
  • Have some or the other advertisements running
  • Collect online payments via the site
  • Use analytics to streamline your visitors

If you’ve answered yes to even one of the above, then it’s a good thing for you to have a PP in place.  You don’t want unnecessary court time now do you?

Where and How can you get a PP done? – Best is to get a professional who can do it for you. Since each business is different, you will need policies that go in tandem with your business. Though there are many online creators, they are merely templates and you will need to customize it according to your requirements. I would suggest consulting a lawyer who can guide you through this (if in India – because it is a lot reasonable). You could check online templates – some are free (only if you belong to the non-profit, NGO type outfits) but mostly since they customize the policies, there is a fee involved.

Do keep in mind that whoever is creating your PP, they should amply guide you through some terms such as cookies (what they are, how are they managed – accepted/rejected/deleted), information (what is collected and what is done with it, how it is stored), risks (explain there are no harmful technical consequences) and of course legislations (cost of not adhering to policies, grounds for demands of a suit et all).

There, I hope this has given you enough information to rush to the legal counsellor right away. You can breathe easy now once that’s out of the way!

Let me know if there is some important information or a new law that has come up so I can update myself.

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