The Importance of Website Policies

This document is meant to help explain what website policies are and how they help you comply with laws and also protect you by limiting your liability. We are not attorneys and this is not legal advice. We do, however, ask all of our clients to sign the final page of this waiver, acknowledging that we have provided you with this information. 

What is a Privacy Policy

A Privacy Policy helps websites owners comply with privacy laws by providing specific disclosure requirements such as how their website collects, uses, and discloses personal information.

A comprehensive Privacy Policy is required to comply with privacy laws

Today’s modern websites are built to provide a great user experience and motivate prospective customers to reach out and inquire about what you have to offer. This is done through the use of tools such as contact forms, website analytics, and more.

Contact forms ask users to submit their ‘name’ and ‘email’, which are examples of personal information. When a website uses analytics, it collects each visitor’s IP address and shares that personal information with third-party data analytics providers. These are just a few examples of the many ways websites collect and share personal information. 

The collection of personal information is regulated under multiple privacy laws. For example, Canada’s privacy law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) requires businesses to disclose a comprehensive Privacy Policy if their website is collecting the personal information of Canadians. Penalties for non-compliance can be substantial and can apply to businesses of any size.

In addition, Canada has recently proposed a new privacy bill, The Consumer Privacy Protection Act. If passed, this law will require companies to update their Privacy Policy with new disclosures. This law will also enable Canadians to sue any business for collecting their personal information without displaying a Privacy Policy that includes the newly required disclosures. This is a good example of the ever-changing nature of privacy laws and we recommend that you not only have a comprehensive Privacy Policy in place but that you also develop a strategy to keep your policies up to date when these laws are amended or when new laws are implemented.

Google requires your website to have a Privacy Policy

A website utilizing Google Analytics is required by Google to have a Privacy Policy. You can find this requirement within section 7 of Google’s Terms of Service: https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/terms/us/ 

What is a Terms of Service Agreement

A Terms of Service Agreement limits the liability of businesses by stating the rules to using the website. 

Example disclosures

When a website offers links to third party websites, a Terms of Service can help explain to users that the business is not responsible if a user clicks those links. So, if a third party link brings a user to a hacked website, the Terms of Service disclosure can help prevent you from being sued. 

A Terms of Service agreement can also provide a disclosure where people can contact you if they believe that you have infringed on their intellectual property. For example, if you accidentally use an image that you do not have the permission to use, this disclosure can help reduce the likelihood of a copyright infringement lawsuit.

There are many additional disclosures that a Terms of Service can make, but these two are the most popular and are easy ways to protect your website and your business.

How to get a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service for your website

If you have the budget, we recommend hiring a lawyer that focuses on privacy law to write your website policies, monitor privacy laws, and update your policies when the laws change or when new laws go into effect. If you do not have the budget to hire a privacy lawyer for your website policies, we recommend using Termageddon. 

Termageddon is a comprehensive website policies generator and will update your website policies when privacy laws change or new laws go into effect, helping you stay compliant and avoid privacy related fines and lawsuits, and they do it at a fraction of the cost of a lawyer. Although Termageddon is a technology company (not a legal services provider), it was founded by a privacy and contracts lawyer and the tool has been recognized as a trusted tech vendor by the largest international privacy organization in the world (iapp.org).

If Termageddon sounds like a good solution for your business, you can purchase a license through them, maintain or upgrade your account to The Wellspring tier. You will have full access to your policies with your own Termageddon account, and you will be notified via email when new laws go into effect and when your policies are being updated or when new disclosures require additional questions that need to be answered.

Website Policies Waiver

By signing this waiver, you acknowledge that we informed you that applicable (province, national, or international) law may require your website to have a Privacy Policy with specific disclosures. We are not lawyers, we do not provide Privacy Policies as a service, and we are not responsible for your business complying with any applicable privacy laws.

We have a relationship with a third-party Privacy Policy and Terms of Service generator called Termageddon and we are able to assist you with linking those policies to your website. You are under no obligation to utilize Termageddon, but it is the service that we use on our own website, have a relationship with (we receive a commission fee or can resell their license to you if you decide to purchase) and recommend. Please note, should you choose to use Termageddon’s services, your relationship will be directly with them, governed solely by their Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

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