Legal Guide: Privacy Policy & Terms and Conditions

The AWB Firm Legal Guides

Privacy Policy & Terms and Conditions 

NOTE — a new European privacy law that affects most U.S. businesses (General Data Protection Regulation, or “GDPR”) went into effect on May 25, 2018!  Read on for more details below and click here for our GDPR training, checklist, and privacy policy template. 

Does your company website allow your visitors to contact you, or submit their information to sign up for an e-mail list, contest, or buy a product? Then you must have a privacy policy, and you should also have terms and conditions of use, which can be linked from your footer on every page.

Privacy policy

If you collect any personal information through your website (even just an e-mail address through an opt-in or contact form), you are required by law to post a policy on your website telling your visitors what you will do with this information, such as whether you sell it to third parties or share it with your advertisers or partners. You must let visitors know if you use tracking mechanisms that display ads for your products or services as they move around the Internet to other sites, and how you respond to “Do not track” signals.  You must also communicate whether visitors have choices about sharing their information, and whom they should contact with questions about your privacy policies and practices.

Under the new EU privacy rules (which apply to most U.S. businesses if they have any contact with EU residents!), you must also post a link to your privacy policy where you collect information (not just in your website footer).  You must also comply with new rules that give EU residents certain rights about how their data is handled, such as the right to request their data from you, the right to request correction to their data, and the right to request that you erase their data (this is just a few examples).  Read more about the GDPR rules and find additional resources here.

There are also special, very stringent, requirements you must follow if you collect information from those under the age of 13 (more on those here).  If your business is not geared towards children, you may include a note in your privacy policy that you do not intentionally collect information from anyone under 13 years old.

Terms and conditions

This is the guidebook that tells your website visitors how they can use your site. You own the copyrights to all the awesome photos, text, videos, and other content that you’ve created and posted on your website. Your terms and conditions should tell visitors exactly what they can do with your content (share it!), and can’t do (sell or copy it to compete with you). If you allow users to comment or post on your website, or operate a members-only site, you can also set the rules for users participating there.

Did you just realize you need a privacy privacy policy and terms and conditions for your website?

Have you cobbled together these documents from other people’s websites, but aren’t sure if you’re really protected?  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

We work one-on-one with online and creative entrepreneurs every day drafting custom website privacy policies, terms and conditions, terms of use, disclaimers, and more.