Does Your Blog Need A Privacy Policy?

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A privacy policy is a legal document that states what personal information you gather about your website visitors. Yes, it's required.

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You’ve likely seen policy pages before, but not taken much time to read them. However, these pages are more important than you’d think. Even if you’ve never read one, do you need one on your blog before you get started?

For any legal information for your blog, you should speak to an influencer lawyer and use posts like this as a guide only. 

What Is A Privacy Policy?

A privacy policy is a legal document that states what personal information you gather about your website visitors, and how that information is used and disclosed by you and any third-parties that you work with. 

What Is Personal Information?

Personal information is anything that lets you identify an individual, such as an email address, age, financial transaction, home address, and more. 

When Does A Blog Need A Privacy Policy?

As soon as you engage in any commercial activity, you need a privacy policy. Even if you aren’t doing any commercial activity, you might need one. Using certain apps means you need the privacy policy. 

In the terms of service for using Google Analytics, for example, it states ‘you will have and abide by an appropriate Privacy Policy’, ‘you must post a privacy policy and that privacy policy must provide notice of your use of cookies that are used to collect data’, and ‘you must disclose the use of your Google Analytics, and how it collects and processes data. 

Amazon’s Affiliate Network also requires you to have a privacy policy. If anything you use on your site gathers data, a privacy policy is a good idea to get in place. 

What Do You Need To Include In Your Privacy Policy?

What should be included in your privacy policy will depend on the information that you gather and on your business. 

First, you should determine when you will be collecting any personal information from your website visitors and disclose that clearly. You also need to disclose the type of information that you will be collecting, and why you need to do so. For example, perhaps you collect data to provide better, more tailored content on your website. 

Another important piece of information to include is who the personal information you have gathered will be shared with and why. For example, if you have an e-commerce element to your blog and use a third-party to process card payments, then you would need to disclose your customer’s information to that third party. 

Your site visitors should also be informed of how they can access their data if they want to. Ideally, you want a specific email address that will only handle requests related to accessing personal information. 

Remember, this is only a guide, and every single privacy policy will be slightly different, depending on where in the world you live, what third-party services you use on your blog, and the kind of data that you collect. If in doubt, ask a lawyer to draft or check your privacy policy, just to be sure.