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Shanty Town’s Guide to Privacy Policies Pt. 1

by | Jun 16, 2021 | Education, Guides

*This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and choose to make a purchase, Shanty Town Design will receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

Managing a small business can be challenging. There can be so many moving parts to manage in different areas, and it’s easy for something like creating and updating a privacy policy for your website to get overlooked.

But here’s the thing – you need to create one.

Various governing agencies require that you be upfront with your visitors about the personal data that you collect, store, and distribute on your website.

 

What is a Privacy Policy?

Almost every business has a website nowadays. We use them to make our businesses more visible, generate leads and connect with our consumers in a convenient, adaptable way. The tech landscape has evolved in recent years, and the laws and regulations surrounding data privacy and consumer protection have evolved with it.

If you have a simple contact form, newsletter signup on your website, or operate as an ecommerce store, you are collecting “Personally Identifiable Information” (PII) and will need a Privacy Policy. A Privacy Policy is a document that discloses how you collect, use, and disclose personally identifiable information. It’s created in order to protect consumers’ rights and private information and is usually easily accessible through a company’s website.

 

Misconceptions

It’s easy to think that privacy policies are only for big tech businesses with teams of attorneys, but even small business owners have the responsibility to inform their customers about what personal information is being collected and what it’s being used for. Failure to comply with privacy laws can lead to heavy fines and even lawsuits.

Most privacy laws also have a very broad application, so even though your business may not physically operate in the state where a privacy law was enacted, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear and don’t need to comply with it. Anyone from anywhere in the world could be submitting their PII to your website.

 

So, how do you get started? Where do you go to get one? Can you make it yourself?

 

1. Writing Your Own Privacy Policy

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” Privacy Policy. Each policy is unique to the company it pertains to and will address different uses of communication tools, shopping carts, social media, landing pages, etc. It needs to accurately represent your practice in order to protect your customers which means copying and pasting a template from another website is not the best choice since it won’t disclose your specific information sharing practices.

 

2. Hiring an Attorney

Having an attorney write your policies for you will ensure that you’re complying with the privacy laws that apply to your business. However, this option is extremely costly and can eat up money that could have been better used for your small business. They will also charge you to update your policies every time a law regarding privacy changes (which they will, there are already a number of proposed data privacy bills introduced and activated this year!)

 

3. Using a Privacy Policy Generator

If writing your own privacy policy seems like a daunting timesuck and spending a fortune on hiring a privacy attorney is out of the question  – then take a look at a privacy policy generator. An option we love is Termaggedon’s Privacy Policy generator. Termaggedon specializes in creating tailored privacy policies for you and your business’ needs. Simply fill out their questionnaire about your business and data management practices and they will provide you with a privacy policy. The policies will even be updated whenever laws regarding privacy change occur, all at a flat yearly rate.

Not only is a Privacy Policy mandatory, it will also make your clients and customers feel reassured that their information isn’t being misused and will build confidence in them that your business is responsible and taking their privacy seriously. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions you have or if you need some help setting up Termageddon.

 


 

Kelly Shannon

Kelly Shannon is a client experience lead and project manager who’s been working with Shanty Town Design since October 2020. Kelly works directly with clients and designers from concept to final execution of projects, maintaining an open line of communication throughout every project phase and ensuring that design and marketing goals are being met. In her spare time, Kelly loves thrifting, seeing live music, and exploring Denver with a camera. She’s a self-taught DIYer, huge nonfiction bookworm and doting cat mom.

 

 

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