I often see people opting not to have a privacy policy or terms of use on their website.  The majority of the reasons are because:

1) people aren’t familiar with what is inside these legal documents
2) they are already overwhelmed with starting a new business and it’s easy for these to get overlooked
3) or people don’t see the need for having them for their “small business”.

But with more and more data privacy regulations popping up, the answer is YES you need a Privacy Policy & Terms of Use on your website.

Here is why:

Privacy Policy: A privacy Policy lets your customers know what type of data you’re collecting and what you are doing with that data. Privacy policies may also include information on who has access to the customer’s data. This can mean giving customers the right to request data if they want, and a process to do so. And it usually involves providing contact info if they have a question about the privacy policy. You may also want to provide an opt-out notice for users that don’t agree with the policy.

Regulations around privacy policies don’t just end at your website: any tool that collects information from your site — such as website analytics, online forms, or chat widgets — will require a policy too. Google Analytics, the most popular web analytics tool out there, even has a privacy policy requirement in its terms of use. And if you’re planning on running any online ad campaigns, both Google and Facebook require privacy policies in place if you’re collecting any user information.

Ultimately, privacy policies provide a safeguard for both you and your visitors. If you’re collecting data from visitors or users, it’s recommended to tell them what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and how it’s being safeguarded. The privacy policy serves as a declaration to visitors and customers what you’re doing with their data.

Terms of Use:

The terms and conditions page sets the rules for using your website. These pages can limit your liability should a customer take you to court, as well as protect your rights to the content contained in your website.

Your Terms of Use will likely include:
– Limitation of Liability
– Permitted Use
– Copyright information
– Privacy Policy (and it will link to your Privacy Policy page)
– Media Release information
– Security and more

WHAT NOT TO DO: please, oh please, do not copy the privacy policy and terms of use from another site. I have seen this happen and it’s bad news. It’s copyright infringement to take another person’s content that is not public, second – it may not be able to protect your business in court.

You really need your own personalized legals for your business.

I also have seen people copy free legals from a generator, although this may seem like an OK option – generated legals may not fit your exact business needs especially if you are actually selling products, services, or courses on your website.

So where do you get sound legal Terms of Use and Privacy Policy documents for your website?

If you are in Canada, you are in luck. There is an incredible business called the Contracts Market that provides the exact legals you will need for your website.  Contracts Market is created by a Canadian Lawyer, they are what I use for my own website, and they are who I recommend to everyone for their legals.  Trust me, they are the best! 

You can grab your website documents on their website by clicking this link, and then heading to > Shop Contracts > Website Terms

*note: I make a small commission from this affiliate link*

If you are in the US (or anywhere else), I highly recommend contacting a local lawyer to have your website legal documents prepared.

So long story short, get your legals in place! It’s better safe than sorry.

The above content should not be construed as legal advice. Always consult an attorney regarding your specific legal situation.

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