Privacy Policy: How To Write Effective for Business Protection

To fully leverage the power of the internet, modern-day users often have to disclose sensitive information to other users, e-commerce stores, or companies. As per the privacy calculus approach, decisions regarding data disclosures are wholly hinged on the perception of disclosure intrinsic and extrinsic value and privacy costs. In addition to that, data disclosure also depends on the subjective level of the prevailing privacy levels.

However, although users will accrue the benefits of data disclosure almost immediately, they always have a problem establishing the possible associated disclosure costs because of the abstract nature of these costs. Going through the privacy policy statement is one of the ways for internet users to be acquainted with the associated disclosure costs that might arise when using a website. In addition, that brings us to the topic of the day.

What is a privacy policy?

A privacy policy is a document explaining how a website or e-commerce store will handle any employee or user data collected in the course of its operations. The privacy policy will elaborate on how the organization will collect, store, safeguard, and use any personal data provided by website users.

Data in this regard could be anything from sensitive to regular data. It includes user names, email addresses, locations, credit and debit card numbers, social security numbers, health records, banking, and financial records. Besides telling your website visitors how you will handle their data, the privacy policy also tells users about their rights regarding website practices. For instance, an elaborate website privacy policy will detail how your website is set to fulfil its legal obligations and why your website users should feel comfortable agreeing to it.

Why Your Website Needs A Privacy Policy

In today’s internet age, almost all companies must have a well-crafted privacy policy. Of course, you can avoid it, especially if your website does not collect any sensitive data. However, even bloggers must consider why a privacy policy is a valuable tool on their website. This section will discuss the benefits of having a website privacy policy.

1. It is a Legal Requirement for Websites Collection Sensitive Data

Perhaps the most significant reason why your website needs a privacy policy is that law requires it. Organizations build websites to spread out their reach to global realms, and with this expansion comes more laws. According to a report by UNCTAD, 71% of countries have privacy legislation. Let us have a look at some prominent privacy acts.

  • Europe: Whereas the E.U. laws do not apply in the United States, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will probably apply to your website. If you market or sell your goods to customers within the European Union, then you must comply with these regulations. The GDPR requires websites to provide users with full disclosure about how their data is stored, used, and protected. The regulation advocated for lawfulness, fairness, and transparency during data handling. The best way to conform to these GDPRs is to get cheap SSL certificate for data encryption.
  • U.S. Federal Law: U.S. federal law, such as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, requires all ecommerce store owners in the U.S. to acquire verifiable consent from a parent or guardian, before a child can use their online service, whether within or without the U.S. territory. Moreover, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) spells out stringent requirements on how healthcare units should protect their clients’ sensitive health data.

2. It Builds Trusts with Your Customers

E-commerce shoppers are more concerned about privacy, especially where personal data is involved. A privacy policy is a proof to your existing and potential customers that you value their privacy and are doing something to uphold it. However, it might not be enough to make a privacy policy, especially if you intend on endearing your website visitors. It is in the best interest of your website and your users, by extension, to install effective measures to establish their data security and privacy. Users are more inclined to trust a website with a privacy policy and security protocols than one without a privacy policy.

3. Third-party Services Might Require the Privacy Policy

Third parties, such as those designed to enhance your website’s functionality, might require that your website have a privacy policy. A good example is Google AdWords and Google Analytics, which actively requires websites to have privacy policies detailing their use of their services, SDKs, plugins, etcetera. You must draft a privacy policy for your website to use such services.

4. Make Customers Feel Informed

Your customers value their privacy more than anything does. In addition, with the number of data breaches surging day after day, it is easy for your website visitors to feel unsafe and scared at the same time. This scenario is pushing more and more people to learn more about privacy. Upon establishing the associated risks, they will want to ensure the safety of their information.

All your website visitors want is an assurance that you value their data. They also want to stay current with your organization’s changes. A privacy statement provides a platform to inform your customers about the pertinent aspects of your organization and spell out your role in their data security.

5. Show of Security from A First Glance

Your clients and prospects need to know that you value their data security before they can entrust you with intimate details about their personal lives. A privacy policy is a perfect way to show your customers that you truly value their security and are doing something to ensure their safety.

6. SEO and Marketing

You might know this, but search engines love a clear, elaborate privacy policy. They prioritize websites with such privacy policies because they see them as signs of proper security. In other words, having a privacy policy could send better signals to search engines, and this could earn you some excellent spots in the results pages.

Tips on How To Write An Effective Privacy Policy

1. Remember to Include Your Business Name and Contact Information

The first important rule to writing an effective privacy policy for your website is to use plain language with the right and easy legal terminologies that all types of users can understand. At the beginning of your privacy policy, remember to mention pertinent information identifying your company. Such information includes your legal name, email address, and phone number. Incorporating this information will encourage your website visitors to contact you in case they have any questions regarding your privacy policy. It also shows that your organization is legitimate and transparent, with nothing to hide.

2. Mention the Type of Information Your Website Collects

Secondly, you should mention the type of information you intend to collect. It is best to narrow down to the exact pieces you collect other than simply mentioning “personal data.” The term “personal data” might appear general to most users. It is even more complex and exhaustive, especially from a broader perspective. It encompasses elements such as credit card information, IP addresses, phone numbers, and less obvious elements such as vehicle number plates. While writing your privacy statement, it is better to be specific rather than general.

3. Elaborate Data Collection Specifics

The next significant step is to mention why and how your website collects data. Websites can use various methods to collect data. Cookies, surveys, contact forms, email newsletters, website analytics, and course registration are some ways a website can collect user data. After collecting the data, you must explain to your users how you will use the data.

Do you intend to use their data to inform them about updates and promotions? Do you need their data to process orders? Are you planning to sell their data to third parties? Regardless of the purpose with which you will use the data, your website users have the right to know what exactly you plan to do with their data. So do not forget to include this section when drafting your privacy policy.

4. Provide a Path-way for Opting Out

Users need to have the freedom of choice. They should be able to choose whether to share their information and when to stop sharing the information and opt out of your website. Your privacy statements should vividly describe all the choices at users’ disposal in case they want to revise any previous permissions. Such policies should outline the right to request data amendments and deletion and the right to review the data collected.

5. Mention if User Data is shared with Third Parties

You should always incorporate a disclaimer in your policy statement if you intend to share users’ data with third parties. Third parties include service providers, marketing partners, credit card processors, and consultants. Nondisclosure of such information puts you at legal risk since most laws and regulations prioritize transparency.

6. Specify the Length of Time You Intend To Hold the Data

The General Data Protection Regulations require website owners not to keep data for longer than required. However, the regulation does not specify the timeframe with which a website should hold onto data, meaning you must regularly revise this section to ensure compliance. Assuming you are collecting data for a contract, you are only entitled to retain the data for as long as the contract runs.

7. Explain How You Protect User Data

Users want to know the safety of their data, and a privacy policy provides a perfect ground for you to explain how you will protect your data. You should also remember to accompany your words with actions. For instance, if you mention that you are protecting user data through encryption, it would be best to install encryption protocols. For instance, you should buy an SSL certificate to ensure encryption for the data you collect from customers.

8. Describe the Dispute Resolution Process

Lastly, you should explain how the dispute resolution process works. You should add a sentence or two about the course of action for resolving disputes. This will ensure a harmonized approach to handling situations that arise in case things go south.


If your website collects personal data, you will need a privacy policy. This article has all the details you need about a privacy policy. It has explained what a privacy policy is, its benefits, and some tips to follow when writing it.

Cheryl Henson

Cheryl Henson is a passionate blogger and digital marketing professional who loves writing, reading, and sharing blogs on various topics.

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