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5 Tips for Easy to Understand Website Privacy Policy Writing

Tips for Easy to Understand Website Privacy Policy Writing

Whether you run a personal blog, an eCommerce store, or a company website, your privacy policy should be high on the list of priorities.

Privacy policies are typically used to ensure website visitors of a company’s compliance with privacy laws such as GDPR and your website’s legitimacy.

According to Forbes, 63% of customers are unsatisfied with how companies handle data transparency, with 54% stating that companies don’t use data to customers’ benefit.
63% of customers are unsatisfied with how companies handle data transparencyAs we go into 2021, data transparency has become an integral part of lead generation, meaning that you should write or otherwise reevaluate your policies.

Let’s look at how you can write your website’s privacy policy and the benefits of doing so sooner rather than later.

Benefits of Writing a Website Privacy Policy

Depending on where you operate, having a website privacy policy in place is more or less mandatory by law. The aforementioned GDPR is in effect in the EU, while US state laws such as CalOPPA (California Online Privacy Protection Act) in the state of California require businesses to publish privacy policies.

The fines for failing to do so are astronomical, so companies are encouraged to abide by international data privacy laws from day one.

However, there is value to be had in writing your website’s privacy policy besides the mandatory law regulation factor. Think of it as choosing a trustworthy email provider or hosting solution for your website.

Such a page will give your users ease of mind when purchasing products and sharing your website with their social circles.

It effectively communicates how and why you collect data from website visitors transparently and pro-user without omissions or hidden agendas.

Thus, some of the most practical reasons to write a website privacy policy now include:

  • Build trust and brand loyalty with website users
  • Legal compliance with local and international laws
  • Third-party compliance with services such as Google AdSense
  • Higher SEO ranking due to compliance with data privacy standards
  • High return on initial time and resource investment it takes to write

Tips for Website Policy Writing

1. Outline the Types of Collected Data

When writing your website’s privacy policy, getting to the gist of things from the start is best.

Most users who decide to read through your policy will be interested in what kind of data you collect before anything else. As such, you should outline those data types in the first segment before delving any further.

Some data types commonly associated with privacy policies include user names, addresses, contact numbers, emails, IP addresses, and access dates and times.

The choice of data collected can vary from business to business.

However, it is crucial to be upfront about the types of information you collect and never collect more data than you need to stay in line with thedata minimization principle.

2. Which Channels do you Use to Collect Data?

Following that, you should write about how you collect data. More specifically, which types of interactions will cause your website to collect data from individual users?

Websites commonly use one or more of the following to collect user data: cookies, surveys, web forms, registration forms, newsletter sign-ups, and order placement.

It’s best to allow users to skim through the privacy policy using bullet points or bolded fonts to appear more transparent.

Be open about which channels you use to collect data; you won’t have issues earning your users’ trust going forward.

3. Explain Why the Data Is Collected

While data privacy policies are mandatory by law, users will want to know “why” you are collecting their data.

This is a valid concern since not every visitor will understand how the contemporary web works. The most obvious answer most websites gravitate toward is to state that the collected data will be used to enhance the users’ experience.

You can provide users with rudimentary examples of how you plan to do that. For example, collecting store interaction data will help you improve your item selection and deals in the future.

4. Reassure Users of the Data’s Safety

Once you outline which data you collect and why, you should provide your visitors with a sense of cybersecurity in regards to their data.

Specifically, how can you ensure that their data will remain safe and private under your care? Some of the things you should address in this segment of the privacy policy are:

  • How can users opt out of data collection, and what are they missing out on
  • Is your company the only party capable of accessing personal data
  • What kind of software protection or server-side safeguards do you have in place
  • Is your website SSL compliant and uses a secure hosting provider
  • How long is the personal data stored for

Make sure to hit on these points when writing the privacy policy to ensure compliance.

If you omit any of the above-mentioned information from your policy, it can easily come off as suspicious.

5. Provide Users with your Contact Information

Finally, provide your visitors with a communication channel that they can use if they have further questions or concerns about the policy.

This pro-consumer move can reassure users of your legitimacy and willingness to cooperate to ensure the best online experience for everyone.

A live chat button or an email address will suffice, but you can also add an international number to the list if you have one.

Maintaining a good data privacy policy is a two-way street, and your visitors will often have useful insight into how you can optimize the policy.

Remember, new laws have increased requirements for what your Privacy Policy must contain, including information about your DPO, disclosing information about data processors and the data controller, if you use data for automated decision-making and more.

Transparency Leads to Trust

Once your website policy is in place, you can update it with new regulations and standards anytime you spot an inconsistency.

As a rule of thumb, you should inform users of recent policy changes and additions so they can opt-out or consent. Be as transparent and proactive as possible when writing and managing your website’s policy; your user base will respond to those efforts positively.

Author: Marques Coleman is a Content Writer at Trust My Paper and Data Analyst at Grab My Essay.  His interests lie in Big Data, AI, and business development, which he expresses through digital writing and publishing of articles, research, and case studies. He is an active contributor at Subjecto, where he works as a writer and editor in his spare time.

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