A Basic Privacy Policy Checklist

A Basic Privacy Policy Checklist

privacy policy checklist
privacy policy checklist

If you’re a business owner who has recently launched a website or application, expanded into new markets and territories, or has been impacted by recent data privacy news, it may be time to draft or revise your privacy policy. A well-crafted privacy policy can bring many benefits, including compliance with data privacy regulations, showing users that you respect their privacy, reducing risk exposure in the event of a data breach or lawsuit, and demonstrating to third parties that you meet data privacy standards and are a reliable partner.

What is a Privacy Policy?

A privacy policy is a publicly available statement explaining how the company in question collects, stores, uses, and shares data and the types of data collected.

Despite the importance of privacy policies, studies show that most people don’t read them. But this doesn’t mean a company can skip creating one. Privacy policies are a contract between the company and its users about how their data will be used. In the event of a data breach or a legal challenge to your company, a robust privacy policy can be a valuable legal asset.

Legal Requirements for Privacy Policies

Privacy policy laws vary depending on the state or country where the company is located. While some states have tough privacy and data protection laws like California, some states have fewer protections. Companies that operate across states must keep track of each state’s laws, which is a difficult and manual process. The responsibility is on each company to keep up with the changes in privacy policy laws and adapt their practices to comply.

Generally speaking, a privacy policy should include the following:

  • Your business name and contact information
  • The categories of data you collect
  • How you collect data, and the sources you use to do so
  • The purpose of data collection
  • The legal basis of data collection
  • The consumer’s rights
  • Who you share personal information with
  • Details of how the data will be shared internationally, if at all
  • Whether data collection is voluntary or mandatory
  • Your data retention policies
  • Your security measures
  • Your financial incentive programs
  • How you will make consumers aware of changes to your policy
  • How any third-party vendors you use will handle customer data
  • Effective date of your privacy policy

We strongly encourage you to consult your legal team for anything else your particular privacy policy may need to include.

privacy policy checklist

Creating a Privacy Policy

It may be tempting to base your own privacy policy on another company’s. However, this may result in a statement that doesn’t accurately reflect your company’s specific data collection and usage practices. You could also end up with a privacy policy so full of legal jargon that the average visitor to your website won’t be able to make any sense of it. When writing a privacy policy, it’s always best to do your own work.

To create a comprehensive and effective privacy policy, companies must take a top-down approach and involve key stakeholders from across the organization. This includes the executive team, as well as business groups that may not seem immediately relevant, such as IT, engineering, and sales. By involving these stakeholders, companies can ensure that their policy accurately reflects their data collection and usage practices across the entire organization.

Final Thoughts

A robust privacy policy is just one part of full legal compliance. That’s why we created 4Comply: a user-friendly privacy compliance software designed to streamline your privacy approach no matter what laws apply. Contact our team of privacy experts today to learn more about 4Comply and how it can help your organization.