In today’s digital era, individuals are willingly, and sometimes unintentionally, revealing a vast amount of personal information online. As the amount of data companies are collecting continues to grow, privacy has become a hot concern.
With new websites appearing every day and clients situated all over the world, privacy regulations may differ from nation to country, regulating privacy is a difficult task.
Personal information is defined differently depending on the item of legislation, but it often includes everything from names and contact information to more sensitive information such as payment details and social security numbers.
It outlines not just how the firm will use the data, but also how it will satisfy legal requirements and what happens if the company fails to meet those commitments.
What are the consequences of noncompliance?
Some elements, on the other hand, are very conventional and appear in most privacy rules.
Which personal data you collect
If you’re collecting data that you think is necessary for your users to utilize your website, let them know so they can make an educated decision about what information, if any, they want to provide.
How you collect data
You should be open and honest about how you plan to obtain personal information from your consumers. If you’re collecting user data, monitoring geographic location, or utilizing any third-party services for advertising and retargeting reasons, you should let your users know.
How you use data
Now your users are aware that you will be collecting their personal information at this point, but what will you do with this data?
For example, if you run an eCommerce site, you should make it clear that personal information will be utilized to process payments and deliver items to consumers. In such a situation, their personal information is likely to be handled by a third party, such as an online payment processing service provider or your shipping partner. All of this should be made known to your consumers.
How you keep data secure
You should describe your methods and where the information is stored to your users so that they understand how you intend to secure their personal information from unwanted access.
You could include a statement stating that, while you make every effort to protect your users’ data, you cannot guarantee that your website will not be infected with malware or gain unauthorized access and that there is always a risk when storing and exchanging personal data.
How you store and share data
Your users should be aware of where their data will be stored, how long it will be kept, and whether it will be transported worldwide (this could be the case if your servers are located abroad, for example).
In a similar vein, you should be open about with whom and for what reason you disclose the user data you’ve collected. If you employ analytics or advertising services, for example, make this obvious and link to the privacy rules of these third-party organizations.
How data subjects can opt out
You should make it clear that giving personal data is optional, and that users may limit what they share, opt out, or cancel their consent at any moment. If this will have an impact on their experience with your product or website, you should explain why.
This section should list all of the rights that users have over their data, which may vary by nation or location. For example, under the GDPR, users have the right to seek a copy of all data gathered about them.
Keeping communication records
Some websites allow users to send text messages or emails to their company or to other users. If this applies to your site, you should advise users that your organization maintains the right to keep this information for a certain period of time.
Sharing data with third-parties
Other necessary elements