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Stay Compliant: Essential Legal Requirements

By Tom Seest

At WebsiteBloggers, we help website bloggers develop strategies to create content, traffic, and revenue from website blogs based on our experiences and experimentation.

Compliance regulations can be time and cost intensive to uphold, yet they must not be disregarded – they exist for a reason!
Most privacy laws mandate websites to disclose which data they are collecting and allow users to opt-out, so having effective procedures in place can make meeting regulatory standards far simpler.

Are You Meeting Legal Requirements and Compliance?

Are You Meeting Legal Requirements and Compliance?

Legal compliance is a cornerstone of business success and one way that companies ensure they comply with regulations. This may range from workplace regulations designed to promote safety and efficiency to data protection laws dictating how user data is collected, used, and stored – with noncompliance often leading to costly litigation costs and irreparable harm to a company’s reputation.
Privacy policies are required by most legislations as an essential way of informing users about how their data is being handled. They must describe the type of data being collected, how it’s being utilized and which third parties have access to it; furthermore, privacy policies typically offer users ways to control and withdraw consent for its usage.
Laws vary by region, but generally speaking the more comprehensive your policy is the better as this helps lower fines and regulatory action risk. There are various resources that can assist businesses with understanding what specific requirements there are as well as meeting them successfully.
As an example, GDPR requires organizations to clearly outline what data is collected and used, while California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) mandates any sharing of personal information for financial gain or advertising purposes with any third-party. There may also be regional and country specific laws which require privacy policies in which case it’s wise to consult a partner regarding which laws pertain specifically to your organization.

How Can Legal Compliance Benefit Your Business?

How Can Legal Compliance Benefit Your Business?

What are the Key Components of Privacy Policies?

Privacy policies allow your business to inform consumers what type of data it collects and how that data will be utilized. They must include clear, easy-to-understand language and outline any third parties with which you intend to share consumer data as well as how long this data will remain stored and whether law enforcement can gain access. Furthermore, your policies should outline any security measures in place and who is accountable for them.
Along with complying with legal regulations, an effective privacy policy can also help businesses build consumer trust. When consumers feel their data is protected and utilized in an acceptable manner, they will likely engage more with the brand – this is especially critical when collecting sensitive personal information, such as financial or health details or data from minors.
Many jurisdictions have laws that mandate companies provide consumers with privacy policies. These vary, with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s Community Choice Privacy Act both mandating that businesses disclose what personal information they collect as well as how that data will be utilized.
Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, commonly referred to as PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act), requires companies to get consumer consent prior to collecting or processing consumer data. One way for organizations to comply with this requirement is through having an easily understood Privacy Policy with an online form for individuals to provide consent.
Privacy laws generally state that companies must not discriminate against consumers who refuse to give consent for the use of their personal information, so any website design which requires users to create accounts in order to access certain features should include a clearly stated Privacy Policy that indicates whether access can be denied without providing consent.
Privacy Policies also enable transparency with consumers about tracking technologies such as cookies on a website. As these are often necessary to function, enable ecommerce, or provide analytics, they must be disclosed. Usercentrics provides a text database containing thousands of data processing services that you can use as templates when writing your privacy policy, saving both time and resources by eliminating manual research on individual technologies.

What are the Key Components of Privacy Policies?

What are the Key Components of Privacy Policies?

Although not legally necessary, terms of service (TOS or TOU) agreements can be invaluable in setting expectations among website and mobile app users and protecting intellectual property rights. Furthermore, such an agreement should make clear that your company owns all content on your site, with the authority to terminate user accounts due to any abuse or violations of TOS/TOU terms of service agreements.
If possible, terms and conditions should remain separate from privacy policies. While they may use similar language, combining both documents can make it more challenging for readers to navigate and comprehend both documents simultaneously. A privacy policy typically contains clauses specific to privacy while TOSs usually contain general legal statements without as many specific clauses; if necessary, combine both documents by including a section in one document that links back to another for your readers’ convenience.
No matter if your aim is to meet legal requirements, improve customer relations or build business trustworthiness; both a privacy policy and TOS must be present on any website or app. This will help ensure you do not misuse personal data; that you have legally binding agreements in place with users; and have permission from content creators for all use on such platforms.
As part of your TOS, it is also imperative that you limit your liability in case an error or mistake arises in your website or mobile/desktop application. A good approach would be to include language such as “This site provides general information only and any opinions expressed here are solely those of its authors and do not reflect those of the provider.”
If you need assistance creating your privacy policy or terms and conditions, reach out to an experienced technology lawyer. UpCounsel attorneys specialize in handling legal issues related to technology; from contract negotiation and patent litigation. Their backgrounds include degrees from top universities such as Harvard Law and Yale Law. On average they have 14 years of legal experience, having worked at companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.

Are You Risking Legal Troubles Without Proper Compliance?

Are You Risking Legal Troubles Without Proper Compliance?

Copyright is the legal right to protect and control original works of authorship such as websites, apps and digital services. Privacy policies and terms of service should not only adhere to copyright requirements; they must also meet specific regional user age or business type needs.
At first glance it may be tempting to copy another website’s Privacy Policies without realizing the potential legal ramifications; however this would be unethical and illegal as well as potentially costly in terms of potential lawsuits. A unique piece of work like your business requires its own customized approach – hiring a lawyer could assist with this step and create something suitable for your company’s unique requirements.
Similarly, if your app or website targets users in California, its privacy laws differ significantly from those of other states or countries, and you’ll likely need clauses in your Privacy Policy that comply with them. Simply copying another Privacy Policy could fall short of fulfilling all your needs while possibly including invalid or inaccurate clauses that might jeopardize business operations.
At this point, it’s essential that you create your own Privacy Policy to avoid disputes related to misuse of other businesses‘ intellectual property. If there are concerns over potential copyright infringement, it would be advisable to consult an attorney prior to publishing this Policy.

How Can Copyright Laws Protect Your Intellectual Property?

How Can Copyright Laws Protect Your Intellectual Property?

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