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4 Digital Policies Your Website Needs

Website policies are a great way to not only show users how your business operates, but they can also protect you as your business continues to grow. Below we discuss 4 of the most vital policies your business website should consider.

Privacy and Data Use

A privacy policy is likely the most important policy your website will need. Nearly every website, from ecommerce to social media to education utilizes privacy policies to inform their users of what to expect when using their site and how their data may be used.

A private policy is crucial for the following reasons:

  • It Required by Law – Perhaps the most important reason why you need a privacy policy is because it is required by law.  In the United States, there are several laws, one of the most far reaching is the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA), that requires if you collect any personal information, such as email addresses, location demographics, phone numbers, etc., you are obligated to provide a legal statement to users that discloses the privacy practices of your business.
  • Third Party Requirements – Increasingly, many third-party services that serve to improve and boost traffic to your website, such as Google AdWords or Google Analytics, are actively requiring website owners to have public privacy and data use policies in order to use their services.  
  • Users Care About Their Information – People care and want to feel secure about their privacy, especially when it comes to the use of their personal information online. An informative privacy policy is vital to showing your users that you can be trusted, and that you have adequate procedures in place to manage their personal information with care.

It is highly recommended that you work with an attorney when drafting your policy to make sure you understand your obligations and address your business’ plans regarding:

  • Data Collection 
  • Data Breach Management Procedures
  • Data Access and Data Storage 
  • Methods for Removal Of Personal Data
  • Staff Privacy Training 

Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions policies typically outline a binding agreement between you and your users that lays out the rules and guidelines that users must agree to and abide by in order to use and access your website.

This policy should not only include user guidelines for use of your website, but also warn of  what the consequences will be if users abuse or violate those rules.  

Additionally, as the website owner, you are the owner of its contents including copyright and trademark information. You should outline this for your users and well as delineate what user added content (like comments or input) may be owned by the site.  

This policy can also specify what “Governing Law” is utilized by your business. Governing Law calls out what state or jurisdiction your business is subject to for legal purposes. For example, an e-commerce business that ships and operates nationwide, but is located or incorporated in California, would likely want to specify California law and its Governing Law.

Terms and Conditions policies are particularly important to ensure that if you find yourself in a legal situation you and your user are aware what to expect.

Accessibility

Distinguishing your website as accessible is not only legally beneficial, but an accessible website also expands your customer base since it is usable on any browser, with any technology, and by any user. Providing full access to your website ensuring that the one in five Americans who have disabilities will be able to engage in business with you online.

The societal push to be inclusive is growing and in order to be sure your business can maximize its potential you should make sure your site is as compliant as possible.

Sponsorship Disclosure

In most cases, the FTC requires disclosure of sponsored content. Sponsored content is content whose purpose is to promote or sell a good or service for another party.

By establishing a sponsorship policy, you can protect your business from liability for the actions of sponsors and sponsored products beyond your control. You can include disclaimers for products you are paid to promote and clarify your responsibility as it relates to the given product or service.  

These are just a few of the most important policies your website should consider. However, there are many areas where a digital policy may be helpful in clarifying expectations. It is a good idea to meet with an attorney to discuss your business model and processes to determine what policies your website may benefit from.

What Should You Do Next?

If you are interested in learning more or speaking with an attorney at Capital Partners Law, there are plenty of ways to get in touch:

This article is for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader nor should it be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact our firm.