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Crafting a Privacy Policy for Your Online Business

Is your website privacy-friendly? There are a few consumers who are pragmatic and easily willing to trade privacy for convenient online shopping. However, a larger segment want more privacy laws and the majority of Internet consumers want clear privacy rules and disclosure.

To ensure a sound privacy policy, getting a good lawyer to help craft them is a good idea. But since there are no federal laws requiring online businesses to have a privacy policy, and  no company has ever been sued for not having a privacy policy, you might not be able to find a lawyer in your area with enough experience in writing these.  So the best thing to do is to draft a policy yourself, then run it by a lawyer before posting it on your website.

A good privacy policy must clearly state how the information being asked for will be used, whether it is for exclusive use of the transaction itself, or if this information will be shared with outside companies. Make sure that the reason why their personal information is being collected is properly  communicated to  consumers.

Your policy must also indicate the specific measures being undertaken to ensure this information’s security and privacy. Then,  provide a number of choices for privacy settings and  the use of their information and the option to verify, correct, change or remove personal information.

Lastly, make yourself accessible.  Provide a hotline phone number or email address or any other convenient way to for consumers to contact your company. Provide a way for people to opt out of future communication. If someone wants to be removed, make it easy. Having a “privacy policy email” allows for these types of communications to be routed for easy handling. By conveying openness, you are also building trust.

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