Did you know there are privacy laws when it comes to websites? If you didn’t know, then you are in the right place!
When you run a website, you want to develop a design and hit the ground running. However, there are many legal considerations to contend with before you go “live” to be compliant. Some of those legal considerations surround the issue of privacy.
Additionally, if you are reviewing an item, you must reveal that the opinions are your own opinions, and your opinion wasn’t influenced in any way by the products or compensation.
1. Visitors Need to Know What Your Website Collects
The visitors to your site need to know what information is necessary for collection. Often it may just be a first name and email address. However, they need to see if you collect anything else such as credit cards, home address, social security number.
2. Visitors Need to Know the Process for the Collected Data
3. Visitors Need to Know What Information The Website Stores
What information is stored by the website? For example, a user’s name, address, and email address remain in the database to process activity with their account rather than a guest. On the other hand, a blogger may host a giveaway for an item and collect home addresses. In the case of a giveaway, the blogger should make it clear the information is used for that giveaway only and not stored anywhere for any future use.
4. Visitors Need to Know What Information The Website Shares
5. Visitors Need Your Contact Information
How Does Your Website Share Information?
Sharing With Shipping
Shipping is rather obvious for the user. If they are purchasing an item online, they know the website needs an address and some form of payment. Without this information, the purchase can’t proceed, nor can it be shipped.
Sharing Through Follow-Up
Websites and businesses want to be sure their customers are satisfied. Certain information is necessary to facilitate this information. Additionally, following up with previous customers is a great way to offer them deals for repeat purchases. Once you have a customer, you want them to remain a customer.
Sharing With Announcements
Businesses will periodically send announcements for seasonal sales, industry-related information, holiday changes such as hours, and more.
Sharing Through Third Parties
There are times when third parties may have access to website data. For example, you need a third party to work on your site or process updates. Make it clear you are not selling data to third parties.
There are also requirements for websites and children. For children under the age of 13, you must comply with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).
In 2018 the European Union developed the European Privacy Regulation. This lead to the creation of the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR says that personal data is any information related to a person. And as individuals, they have eight fundamental rights to:
- Be forgotten
- Data portability
- Be informed
- Have information corrected
- Restrict processing
- Be notified
GDPR compliance is for organizations established in the European Union (EU). It doesn’t matter if the business is in another country. If it still services citizens of the EU, you must comply. Privacy policies are a serious matter, and some large companies face hefty fines for incomplete compliance. There is a lot to consider no matter what field your business is in and if you have the means, hire or work with a data privacy officer.
What Type of Information is Your Website Collecting?
Here are some types of information your website collects.
Personal information can include name, address, phone number, email address, credit card information, and more. Although providing the information on the site is voluntary, it is clear that some or all of the site may not be accessible without it. For example, if a user isn’t willing to provide credit card information, they can’t purchase online.
Analytics and Usage
How are users accessing the site? Are they entering directly from a web browser or through a social media platform? What marketing method is working the best? Data also can be used to monitor if all features of the site are working correctly or not.
Cookies are a way for a user experience to be better. Cookies can store a user’s password for easy login in the future. They can also allow the website to tailor discounts and services based on the user’s previous activity. Users can opt-out of cookies, but it could mean they can’t fully experience the website and its products or services.
Text messaging is relatively new for businesses. This marketing strategy has proven to be quite successful. Users can opt out of texts, but they may miss awesome deals if they do. For example, Michael’s Crafts can text you deals the second you walk into one of their stores. These deals may not otherwise be accessible. Perfect if that is what you are looking for, but opt out if you find it annoying.
Your website sets the stage for all communications and interactions with your customers. So let’s make sure these interactions are all legally compliant.
At Bhirst Media, we have experience building websites for various customers and a variety of different needs. We understand what it takes to build a website that looks good, is optimized for search engines, and is designed for lead generation.
You don’t have to try and do this alone — let us help. Check out our website design, development, and website care plans today.