Web Privacy Policy

Web Privacy Policy

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How to Create a Privacy Policy for Your Business Website

What is a privacy policy for a business? Why is a privacy policy important for your business or the website of your business? Will you really loose customers without a privacy policy, or if you violate the policy? How do you create a privacy policy for your business website?
Researchers have determined that having and posting a privacy policy on your company website is essential to keep visitors returning. People want to know what your privacy policy is and that you don’t violate it. They want to know how you will use personal information about them.

According to the Better Business Bureau at the website, www.bbbonline.org, a good privacy policy is easy to find, easy to read, and explains all your online information practices. It also will let potential customers know what you will do with their information. Having such a policy is an important first step in defining your online practices and answering the concerns and barriers potential customers will face when looking at your website.

A privacy policy on your business website is also a promise, more than just a notice. The policy listed on the site must be implemented on a wider scale. You should carefully consider what will be in your policy.

The Better Business Bureau lists items in a sample privacy policy that could go in a business website. You can view the sample policy at the organization’s website.

The policy would tell what information your business would collect about customers, such as name, address, e-mail address, phone number, credit card information, and other personal information. It would tell the type of information your company would collect about others, including those who would receive a gift from a customer who orders, such as name, address, phone number, and what other information you would gather. It should tell how you would use any information gathered, such as only the information you need to complete an order or that others might need for the same purpose, or if you would share it would other companies. It would tell whether you only use e-mail addresses to answer questions from customers, or for any other reason. It should tell what type of Internet security measures you use. It should tell how a customer can access or correct personal information and how to contact your company.

That is some of the information in a typical privacy policy for a business website. Other information might be needed if your policy only applies to U.S. residents, if you do share information with third parties not governed by your policy, if part of your website is geared to children, if you share information with third parties for marketing purposes, allow third parties to use your website to access information, use information gathered for any other purpose than the original intended purpose, limit a customer’s access to his personal information by charging a fee or limiting access because of an inability to retrieve the information.

The Better Business Bureau will also allow you to have a privacy seal for your website, if it meets the conditions, for a fee. There are eligibility requirements and a participation agreement to read.

The Better Business Bureau is not the only organization which aids businesses in creating a privacy policy for business websites.

The company PrivacyBot.com also helps businesses with privacy policies for a fee, and you can view their website at www.privacybot.com. The company’s website has a six step wizard to help create a privacy policy in about ten minutes. Your privacy policy and a trustmark will then be delivered online to you promptly. You can then display the trustmark on your website on a provisional basis. To display the trustmark for longer will require an on online compliance checklist and a personal visit by staff members of the company.

The website has a separate link to a program to help California businesses comply with the California Online Protection Act, which went into effect on July 1, 2004.

There are other companies, no doubt, that will help you implement a privacy policy. You can find more information by doing an Internet search.

A privacy policy for your business website may require a lot of thought and some work. To maintain the confidence of your customers, however, such a policy is extremely important.