In the technology age, 24/7 access to the World Wide Web is quickly becoming the norm. It may be difficult to imagine a world without the Internet, but many people believe this world is familiar to some and a scary place to others. After all, learning to operate a computer and use the Internet is basically learning a new language — computers don’t speak our language.
Privacy is one of those concepts that is hard to understand when it comes to the Internet. It allows people to maintain some control over their personal information, but at the same time, be able to make use of the Internet.
However, privacy on the Internet is not like a right to privacy in the physical world. In the physical world, your privacy is protected under law. But in the virtual world, there is no law that provides the same level of protection; that is changing, with implications for business owners.
Therefore, if you want to use the Internet to benefit your business, you need to learn about its privacy issues. The benefits of online as a business far outweigh the inconveniences. The line is blurring between online and offline; online is quickly becoming everywhere and everything to a business. At the same time, that causes problems for individual rights to privacy.
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It establishes how the organization will deal with collected information, including how the information is kept safe and secured, how it will be used, and who may see it.
Currently, there are multiple privacy laws in the United States designed to protect users’ privacy. However, these laws can be difficult to understand and they vary from country to country (and from state to state).
Here are the more prominent privacy laws today:
Privacy laws protect the citizen who is navigating your website; you are subject to enforcement of laws in their jurisdiction.
A California privacy law is enforceable against an out-of-state business if the customer visiting the website is a resident of California. Same with a citizen of the European Union (EU), Australia, Canada and other states like Colorado and Virginia which have their own online privacy laws.
Fines for online privacy laws start at $2,500 per violation (per website visitor)… as much as $20,000! This has led to many websites including social media platforms and search engine companies changing their privacy policies.
Although you may be thinking that you will never be penalized for violating online privacy laws, this is never the case. Technology changes just as fast as the laws do, and new types of technologies are being developed all the time. It may not be long before you are penalized for violating online privacy laws.
Several states have proposed privacy bills that, if passed, will have a negative impact on how your company interacts with website visitors and collects data of your visitors. For example, one Florida bill would have required companies such as Facebook to respond to any government requests for information about users in 40 days. Many lawmakers are committed to protecting the privacy of Internet users, and these bills are a keen example of this.
These bills all have different requirements for the disclosures that companies must make to their visitors and customers.
In fact, some states are proposing to penalize companies that fail to disclose how they will collect data about their customers and how it will be used. This bill would require companies to inform visitors about what information will be collected and how it will be used. Companies would then have 45 days to respond legally to requests from government agencies.
If your website gets inquiries from across state lines, you may be required to comply with multiple state privacy laws plus the federal and international privacy laws.
For example, Australia recently ruled that sites using Google Analytics tracking code were in violation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Business owners are often tempted to purchase a template for a one time fee. While it’s attractive not to pay monthly for something, the templates are out of date and can’t possibly be updated to keep up with the ever-changing laws.
Another common misstep is to copy another website’s policy pages but this may lead to a copyright infringement action brought against you.
In addition, these solutions leave out protections that a customized, automatically updating policy page will offer you. With the auto-update version, you will answer a series of simple questions about your business. Within less than 10 minutes, your policy page is ready to upload to your website.
Because there is code involved, you may want to hire someone to help you install it into your site. Some companies charge up to $2,000 to add policy and compliance pages to a website but this is really extreme. Stay clear of those charlatans. A reputable company can handle the job for $100; that would be a full service installation including matching the website’s design / styling.
If you’re anxious about online privacy and how to resolve this, there is really only one way:
Get your business in compliance with the law.
As we have seen, copying someone else’s policy pages is illegal. Downloading templates offers practically zero protection because those solutions are out of date and not specific to your business. They are incomplete, at best.
Considering the BEST solution is so affordable, why even mess around with skirting the law or putting your business at risk with a mediocre solution?
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TruBlu is a Certified Agency Partner with one of the largest providers of online privacy policies.
If you are comfortable doing all the coding and website integration yourself, then click the link and get started today.
On the other hand, if you would like a 100% Done For You solution, then keep reading.
We offer a Full Service Package that includes:
Become compliant today — and remain compliant with the constantly changing online privacy laws.
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For less than $10/month, your website will have the pages necessary to comply with online privacy laws. Scroll down and let’s get started today!
Disclaimer: we are not attorneys nor are we offering legal advice.