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Why a Privacy Policy Matters

Kimberlee of our team attended a two part seminar on Privacy Policies led by lawyer Brent Parker. The main point: without some important documents in place, such as a privacy policy, your business could be at risk.

Privacy has become an increasingly important concern for individuals and organizations in today's digital age. With a vast amount of personal information shared and collected online, it's essential to have a clear and transparent privacy policy in place. As a member of the Canadian Public Relations Society, Kimberlee attended a class about privacy policy to learn what constitutes a privacy policy, why it's essential, and how to create an effective one.

What is a privacy policy?

A privacy policy is a statement or document that outlines how an organization collects, uses, and protects personal information. It is a legal requirement for many organizations, particularly those operating online. Ideally, a privacy policy should be easy to understand, and provide readers with clear information about what data is collected, why it is collected, and how it will be utilized.

Why is a privacy policy important?

There are several reasons why a privacy policy is important:

  1. It provides individuals with transparency about how their personal information is being used. This can help to build trust between the organization and its customers or users.

  2. A privacy policy can help an organization to comply with legal requirements around data protection and privacy. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal and financial consequences.

  3. A privacy policy can help an organization mitigate the risk of data breaches and cyber attacks by outlining measures that are being taken to protect personal information.

  4. Any organization that intentionally collects personal information from minors may only do so with the consent of a parent or guardian.

What should be included in a privacy policy?

A privacy policy should include a clear and concise explanation, usually placed at the bottom of your website, of how personal information is being collected, used, and protected. Some of the key elements that should be included in a privacy policy are:

  • Information about the types of personal information that are being collected, such as name, address, email address, or payment information.

  • An explanation of how personal information is being collected, such as through website forms, cookies, or third-party sources.

  • Details about how personal information will be used, such as for marketing purposes or to process orders.

  • Information about how personal information is being protected, such as through encryption or secure storage.

  • Details about how individuals can access, update, or delete their personal information.

  • Information about whether personal information is being shared with third parties, such as advertisers or other companies.

Tips for creating an effective privacy policy.

Creating an effective privacy policy does not have to be a challenge. Here are some tips that can help:

KEEP IT SIMPLE: Use clear and easy-to-understand language that avoids technical jargon.

BE PRESENT: Provide individuals with as much information as possible about how their personal information is being used and protected.

MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE: Ensure that the privacy policy is easily accessible on your website or app, and that it's clearly labeled.

UPDATE IT REGULARLY: Keep your privacy policy up-to-date to reflect any changes in the way personal information is being collected or used.

SEEK LEGAL ADVICE: If you're unsure about any aspect of your privacy policy, seek legal advice to ensure that it complies with relevant regulations and legislation.

Writing your privacy policy may be intimidating, but it is a crucial document for any organization that collects personal information. There are many sites to guide you in developing your privacy policy and ensure you follow the Ten Principles of Privacy Protection to help build trust with your customers or clients. Do not fear the unknown; it is not as scary as you think.


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