What Are Privacy Policies—and When Do You Need Them?

If you’ve browsed a website, you may have come across the organization’s Privacy Policy. So, what is it? And do you automatically need one if you have a website?

Keep reading to find out.

Privacy policies defined

Privacy laws, ranging from state to federal to global, require any business that collects personal information on website visitors or application users to post a Privacy Policy on both the website and mobile applications.

It is a brief summary that explains specifically:

  • What kind of information you gather
  • How you use the information you collect
  • The steps you take to protect the information and ensure the privacy of your visitors
  • Your data storage and security practices
  • Details about data transfer
  • Any third parties you share visitor data with
  • That the website uses cookies, which record a user’s browsing history on a website
  • How visitors can opt out of data collection

For example, here is the Privacy Policy at Evielutions.com.

[INSERT screen shot of privacy policy]

Do you need a privacy policy?

If your website uses cookies or you collect any data on visitors, then yes. Additionally, third-party vendors, for example payment processing or analytics tools, may also require you to have a Privacy Policy.

So, if you are collecting any of the following for online orders, newsletter or email subscriptions, marketing data, or other reasons, you need a Privacy Policy:

  • Names
  • Billing or shipping addresses
  • Date of birth
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Financial information
  • Credit card numbers
  • Marital status
  • Number of children/dependents
  • Social security numbers

If you do collect data and neglect to put a Privacy Policy on your website, you can be penalized, with the severity depending on where you operate your business. Even if you don’t collect anything, we still recommend you create a Privacy Policy that explains that you don’t collect data for any reason and a brief explanation why. 


How Can We Help?

If you are not sure where to get started, PrivacyPolicies.com has a host of resources, including a Privacy Policy Builder that can walk you through the process. Of course, if we build your website, we can help with that too. Contact us to learn more.