Blogs—and internet privacy laws—have come a long way over the past few decades. Today, blogs are treated like other websites when it comes to data privacy. If you collect information from your visitors, you may need a blog privacy policy.

Here’s an overview of blog privacy policies, and how to create your own legally compliant privacy policy with SixFifty.

What is a blog privacy policy?

Blog privacy policies are like any other website privacy policy. Website owners use them to disclose how they collect, store, and use personal data from website visitors. At a minimum, it also explains why you collect, store, and use the data and whether you share the data with third parties. Finally, a blog privacy policy tells your visitors how they can control, access, or delete their information.

Personal data is typically anything that could be used by itself or in conjunction with other information to identify a specific individual, such as names, email addresses, date of birth, location, credit card numbers, and more.

Why is a blog privacy notice important?

While the United States does not have a comprehensive data privacy law, several states do—and there’s an increasing push to create federal data privacy protection laws. The European Union and China have strict privacy protections for their residents. Because the internet is global, it’s a best practice to have a compliant privacy policy for your blog.

You might wonder whether you really need a privacy policy if you’re not directly collecting personal data. The answer is yes: even if you aren’t specifically collecting data from your website visitors, such as email addresses and names for newsletters or comments, you may be indirectly collecting information. For instance, if you’re using cookies, or third-party tools like Google Analytics, you’re collecting personal data and therefore should have a privacy policy.

It’s important to remember that failing to include a privacy policy could expose you or your company to significant fines and penalties. Major corporations like Google and Amazon have been subjected to fines in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, but even small websites could find themselves running afoul of state or international law. In short, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Proactively creating and posting a blog privacy policy can limit your potential liability.

What should be included?

Drafting a privacy policy can be challenging, especially when it needs to comply with state and international privacy laws. However, there are some common concerns and key points all privacy policies should include:

  • Information to be collected: First, specify the data you collect. This might include IP addresses, email addresses, names, general location, payment information, and more. Keep in mind that some privacy laws have different disclosure requirements, depending on the data to be collected.
  • How the data will be used: Next, describe how your data will be used once it’s collected. For blogs, you might use that information to allow users to comment, and track how much time a reader spends on your site.
  • How the data will be stored and protected: This section explains how the data will be stored and protected. There might be access limits, firewalls, encryption, and other methods, depending on what kind of data you collect.
  • Third-party sharing: If you share data with third parties, explain what, how you share it, and why. For example, if you have ads on your website, you are likely sharing data with third parties.
  • Cookie and tracking technology: If you use cookies or visitor tracking, explain that here.
  • Consumer control information: This section explains how visitors can review, edit, or delete their personal information.
  • Contact details: Finally, include your contact details and information on how visitors can file complaints.

Tips on creating a blog privacy policy with SixFifty

Although you could use a one-size-fits-all privacy policy template, that wouldn’t guarantee that your blog privacy policy will be compliant with all state and international privacy laws. It’s especially important for businesses to create a custom and compliant privacy policy, at the risk of being subject to fines and other penalties.

SixFifty offers robust privacy tools for business and website owners. Instead of hiring a lawyer to draft your privacy policy from scratch—or using a template and hoping for the best—you can automatically generate a customized blog privacy policy. Simply answer some questions about your website and download the automatically generated document.

Ready to find out just how easy and cost-effective it can be? Schedule a free product demo today!