Updated Privacy Policy Templates

January 2016

Is big brother watching you? Probably, but chances are he doesn’t care about your Amazon login details (or your Simply-Docs ones come to that). Such is the level of public concern over online privacy today that internet users are increasingly seeking out new and more effective ways to hide away in plain sight, even if they’re just buying a new Kindle download. To make matters worse, the high levels of advertising prevalent online – with many sites existing largely for the purpose of showing ads atop the most vacuous of content – have caused significant growth in the popularity of ad-blocking browser extensions.

Many website operators are keen to express their displeasure at such measures – with extensions blocking your analytics cookies, you can’t get a clear picture of how your site is being used. With other extensions blocking your third party advertising platforms, your revenue stream dries up. What many are starting to realise, however, is that the users might actually have a point. What, then, can you do?

A key ingredient – often overlooked – is trust. If users trust that a site won’t suck up their personal data and send it straight down a pipe to a marketing agency, they might be more inclined to whitelist that site and allow it to function normally. The user isn’t mercilessly spammed, and the website owner gets the data and revenue that they need to run their business – everyone’s a winner.

Updated Privacy Policies, Now With Added User-Friendliness

It is of vital importance to make sure that your website users know what you are doing with their data. That data may be as insignificant (albeit useful) as their IP address, or it may be the full range of details from their name, address and telephone number, to a full profile of their browsing habits around your website that is used to provide personalization and targeted email marketing. In many cases, of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong – from either side of the equation – with collecting, holding and using that data. What matters is that your users understand and, dare we say it, appreciate, what you’re doing with it.

Our range of website privacy policy templates has been fully updated, not only with more detailed provisions that explain how, where and why data is collected, stored and used, but also in language that – while still necessarily technical and detailed – is more user-friendly, with less legalese and technobabble. We haven’t quite gone down the full-on ukulele-plucking-startup route, using phrases that you might find in a child’s story book, but by phrasing many clause headings as questions that a user would likely ask, and cutting back on some of the aforementioned jargon, the goal has been to produce a policy that gives your users confidence when allowing their data to be gathered by your website.

Ultimately, the functioning of the online world relies on the gathering of user data. Without it, neither website operators, nor their users would get the desired result. In a post-Snowden world, however, the onus is now firmly on those gathering the data to secure the trust of their users and customers, so don’t delay – update your website privacy policy today!

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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