Does your Website Need A Privacy Policy?

If you are a regular user of the world wide web, then you must have come across websites that have certain privacy policies in place. The inclusion of Privacy Policies for internet sites, are very important and it is important for every website to have them.

Reassures users that you won’t spam them

It is widely known that over the past few years, internet spam has become an annoying and progressive problem for many consumers. Internet users are concerned about having their personal information scattered about. Due to this, the need for a Privacy Policy on websites has gained a lot of importance. Internet users are concerned more than ever on who is able to see their information and to know how their personal information is being utilized when they visit your website. Users want to ensure that their identifying information will not be sold for profit or won’t be used in any kind of marketing efforts that they have not solicited personally.

The number of web sites that have been using Privacy Policies has increased over the past few years. One of the problems that is prevalent among many of these websites is that they simply copy policies found on other websites on the internet. The best way to give reassurance to your website visitor is by ensuring that you have a unique Privacy Policy page in place. Borrowing words from another site will not be a good way to build confidence in your visitors. Your website or organization has privacy policies in place to which the company adheres to and this can be seen by every one visiting your website. When you simply end up copying policies from another site, you fail to depict your actual stance on privacy.

Privacy Policy is a disclosure agreement

You should always treat your Privacy Policy as your disclosure statement, because that’s what it is. The Privacy Policy is in place to inform your website visitors how protected their personal information is with your organisation when they visit your site. From a legal stance, the private sector in Canada is governed by the federal Privacy Law. This law is referred to as Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). PIPEDA governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by commercial organisations. The Act states that the organisation can collect, disclose and use the amount of information for the purposes which a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.

As per the Act, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is the Ombudsman for addressing complaints of any kind that are filed against organisations. The Commissioner’s job is to resolve problems through voluntary compliance and not through heavy-handed enforcement. Complaints regarding violation of the privacy policy are investigated by the commissioner. The commissioner also promotes awareness of and undertakes research about privacy matters

Ensure that your website’s Privacy Policy completely represents what your company believes in or else you might end up facing legal problems in the future. It is quite likely that your company’s policy might change with time. At such times, you should change your Website Privacy Policy as well. This will keep it up to date and accurate.

To know more about privacy laws in Canada, get in touch with Prowse Chowne.