- Clearly state the store’s intentions
- Be personalized, and
- Promote transparency
OK. But what is it actually? Let’s see…
It is one of the most important documents for eCommerce store owners as this promotes transparency. People would want to know where and how their information is being used and if it’s being kept confidential. They are now very keen on selecting websites that value confidentiality and websites that they can trust.
Although this is considered to be a legal document, words must not contain obscure details that might confuse the readers but must be easy to understand.
- A brief statement of your employer’s intention to protect and respect the privacy of information provided by your customers, visitors, clients. Something like this:
“Rest assured that your information is protected.”
“Your privacy is very important to us.”
“We protect and respect your data.“
- Content that covers all bases and details from what information you collect to how it is stored or shared
- This way, customers will be assured that their information is secured and protected. The more details you give, the more visitors/customers will understand how their information is being used and protected.
- A limitation of liability statement to set customers’ expectations on which situations or conditions are already beyond your control
- A credentials seal or privacy certification that you can get from a reputable company. This will encourage customers to have confidence in your online store.
It looks like this and you can learn more about various trust marks in another lesson.
Great! Now it’s time to see how all these elements look combined in some good practical examples, shall we?
Examples of Privacy Policies to Learn From
Here is a list of Privacy Policies of well-known eCommerce stores. Check these for guidance on how to create your own customized version.
It includes examples of situations as to how they can collect information from customers via cookies as well as information shared with some third party advertising companies. It also includes a limitation clause and the date of the update.
Aside from giving information about how they collect and use the sensitive information they get from visitors, it also includes a statement to protect the privacy of information collected from children.
An old version of this document included some interesting details such as consequences if customers/visitors do NOT provide the requested information.
This is helpful to visitors and customers in getting a better understanding of the necessity of the information they’re providing. It also provides the contact information if customers find a need to file a complaint.
It looks much easier when you’ve seen a few examples, doesn’t it?
So, you’re ready to create one such policy, right?
Let’s check out some tools that can make your job much easier.
It includes several compliance verification tools for customer privacy protection. One good thing about it is that it’s certified by Trust Guard.
How to use this handy tool?
You can use the featured example of FreePrivacyPolicy or create your own customized version by following these steps:
- Go to http://www.freeprivacypolicy.com/free-privacy-policy-generator.php, answer who you are and click on the “Next” to get started and go through each question. Check the options that apply to your store
You may check the result of the Example-FreePrivacyPolicy-Customized.
How to use this tool?
- You will have an HTML version (with codes) as well as the Plain text and hosted version so you can easily add it to your online store
How to use this tool?
- It will have a form for you to provide your company details and address. When you’re done, click on “Next”
- Proceed with the following instructions to provide the information that you collect from your visitors and customers, information that you collect from their computers, and how you intend to use that information
You see? It’s NOT that difficult, right? Especially when you know there are plenty of free tools to help you get started!
Here are a few examples for an easier start.
However, there’s always some more knowledge you can gain if you’re curious and motivated enough, right? Exactly! Eager to always learn more?
That’s why we’ve compiled the further learning resources subsection for you. Enjoy yourselves!
Further Learning Resources
- Legal Requirements Regarding Privacy Policies + generator
A fantastic TechInAsia article on how to make sure an eCommerce business complies with privacy laws perfectly summarizes the main points from this lesson. So, take a closer look at the following lines written there.
Its purpose is to explain to the customer how their privacy and personal information will be protected.
The main principles that are enshrined in privacy laws around the world are:
- Give notice that you are collecting the data
- Obtain consent from your customers and users
- Collect the data for a reasonable and legitimate purpose
- Keep the data safe and secure
- Tell the user when you will disclose the data (if ever)
- Be accountable to your users and customers; and
- Provide access to the data and allow changes to be made
- What data you will collect
- How you will protect and store data
- What you will do with the data
- In what circumstances will you release the data
- How your users can see what data you hold on them, and change or update it
- Dispute resolution
- Effective date; and
- Changes to the policy and where notices should be sent
You should also carefully think through what things you will use the data for, and decide whether those uses are reasonable given the circumstances in which you collect the data, and your relationship with your customers.
So, make sure to display your documents prominently.
Frequently Asked Questions
a. promotes transparency
b. helps online stores to win customers’ trust
c. accurately reflects a particular store’s intentions and enables customers to understand them
d. All of the above
a. A brief statement of the store owner’s intention to protect and respect the privacy of information provided by their customers
b. A statement about what information the store collects from customers, how it is stored, shared and protected
c. A limitation of liability statement to set customers’ expectations on which situations or conditions are already beyond the store owner’s control
d. If possible, a credentials seal or privacy certification that can be obtained from a reputable company
e. All of the above and even more. The more detailed information, the more customers will be assured that their information is secured and protected