Website Privacy Policy FAQs

The privacy policy on your website is probably one of the least visited pages. While most people don’t take the time to read your policy, not having one, especially one that is in compliance with California law, can get you in a lot of trouble.

Q: What is a privacy policy?
A: A privacy policy is a document that states what type of user information is obtained by the website, the ways in which a user’s information is gathered, what is done what that information, and how that information is protected.

Q: What is the purpose of a privacy policy?
A: California is a consumer-friendly state in a lot of ways. The requirement for a website to have a privacy policy is just one of the ways in which California seeks to protect its consumers. The purpose of a privacy policy is to disclose what type of consumer information is collected and how that information is used. The goal is for consumers to have transparency with the products or services they are using.

Q: I already have a terms of use policy, is that the same thing?
A: No. While the privacy policy and terms of use can be contained in one document, the terms of use (also referred to as “conditions of use” or “terms and conditions’) governs how consumers use the website and outlines the consumer’s responsibilities in using the site, whereas the privacy policy explains how information is collected and used.

Q: I don’t collect any personal consumer information, why do I need a privacy policy?
A: If you have a way for consumers to contact you, then you are likely collecting personal information. For example, even a simple message or contact form triggers the need for a proper policy Even if you don’t actively collect consumer information, certain behavioral information may be automatically collected, for example, if you target-advertise, then you are likely collecting geo-location and web usage statistics, and your use of that information should be disclosed.

Q: What are the requirements of a privacy policy?
A: The contents of the privacy policy will vary depending on the nature of the business and the states and/or countries in which the company does business. You may have to consider issues such as foreign jurisdictions, disability access, consumer credit card protections, and children’s privacy. You should not just copy another website’s privacy policy, because even if your businesses are similar there may be important nuances that you miss.

Q: How often do I need to update my policy?
A: You should review your policy at least annually and update it anytime new laws are in effect. For information on some of the new laws this year, please refer to our latest privacy blog.

Requirements for privacy policies vary by state, nature of the business, and target audience, among other factors.

If you have any questions about your privacy policy, need additional resources, or want to schedule a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us at 818-835-1242 or via our web form.

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