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Privacy Policy for Your Website

written by: pauldb28•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 6/30/2011

Discover the basics of privacy policies. Why use a privacy policy? How would you implement it into your site? Do you really even need one?

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    Have you ever been asked to see your privacy policy by a member of your website or a company wanting to advertise or do business on your website and you didn’t have one to share? Have a privacy policy for your website but want to improve it? This article intends to discuss the basics of privacy policy writing and how to implement it to your website.

    The purpose of a privacy policy is to promote trust and ethical practices for the information you collect from the members of your website and others wanting to have business interactions with you. More than eighty percent of your visitors are likely to read the privacy policy. Your privacy policy should state your reasons for collecting the information, what information will be collected, security around the information and how you will use the information and contact information if needed and not already places somewhere else on the website.

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    There are no standards or regulations around a privacy policy in general. However there are some United States regulations you need to be aware of:

    • Gramm-Leach-Bililey Act requires financial services websites to post a statement outlining security.
    • Children’s sites have to obtain parental approval before gathering information from minors
    • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulates the information obtained in regards to health information.
    • If you collect information about European Union citizens the EU may require additional regulations.
    • As of 2004 all websites located in California must have a privacy policy if collecting “personal information”.

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    To write a privacy policy, there is not certain length if must be, there are no regulated topics you must cover unless your site falls under one of the above regulations. A privacy policy should be short, simple and concise as to not over load the user. Use care to include topics the consumer may be interested in such as your reasons for collecting the information, what information will be collected, security around the information and how you will use the information, how to change their information and contact information to the editor or webmaster of the website.

    After you have written your privacy policy you need to place it somewhere visible on your website. The best method is to create a whole page dedicated to the privacy policy or dedicated to all the policies related to you website. Link this page to your index or home page on your website. Name the link something very simple like “privacy policy” and put it in a visible spot at the top of bottom of the page.