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I Antique Online

A Community For People Who Buy, Sell or Collect Antiques, Collectibles and Art

7 Considerations for Crafting an Online Privacy Policy

by Caron_Beesley, Community Moderator

If you are starting an online business, conducting email marketing, or interacting with your customers via your website, then you need to be aware of and adhere to online privacy policies.

What do online privacy policies accomplish? Why do you need one? Sometimes, it’s required, such as the statutes that govern email SPAM.  Others are optional. In general, your online privacy policy is your company’s pledge to your customers about how you will use, not use, and protect the consumer data you collect from them.  Check out SBA.gov’s own privacy policy as an example.

A privacy policy is not just lip service to your customers. You'll need to make sure your business follows the policy by implementing reasonable security measures to protect your customers' data.  Failure to follow your business's privacy policy can result in costly legal fees.

The thing about online privacy policies is that they differ from business to business and must be tailored to fit each business’ needs. However, there are some general guidelines and laws to be aware of as you craft your policy.

1. Explain How You Collect and Use Personal Information

While not required by law (although the Federal Trade Commission prohibits any deceptive practices), creating a privacy policy is important if you want people to buy your products. This is particularly important if you are involved in e-commerce or if you collect information in surveys or marketing forms. Every customer has a right to know how you collect and use their information.  

Online privacy policy generators (just run a search on that term and you’ll find them) can help you craft a policy. As you craft yours, be sure to clearly explain the following:

  • Your Cookie Policy – Cookies are used to store user preferences or shopping cart contents. Clearly explain your cookie practice.
  • How You Share Customer Information – Customers need to know that their data will only be used to complete the transaction and that any further use of that data (including selling or distributing it) requires their consent.
  • Contact Information – Make it easy for your customers to contact you or file a complaint.

Read more:http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/business-law-adv...

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