The popularity of e-commerce continues to grow. If you’re one of the millions of businesses selling goods and services online, you need an ecommerce privacy policy. Whenever you collect, store, or process personal data in the United States, Europe, or China, you may be subject to varying privacy laws.

Privacy policies are procedures and legal disclosures about how your e-commerce site uses and protects an individual’s data, and violating privacy protections can lead to significant fines and penalties. It’s best to create a compliant privacy from the outset. Read on for an overview of ecommerce privacy policies and how to create one with SixFifty.

What is an e-commerce privacy policy?

An ecommerce privacy policy tells visitors and customers what kind of information you collect from them, why, and how you do so. It also tells consumers what you do with their data and how they can limit or delete the data you’ve collected from them.

E-commerce privacy policies, like general privacy policies, should comply with domestic and global privacy laws. Even if you don’t plan to do business in every corner of the globe with a comprehensive privacy law, you may still get visitors from protected territories.

Privacy laws protect personal data, although that definition can vary by territory. Generally, personal data is any data that can personally identify an individual, including tracking data, names, email addresses, physical addresses, credit card information, and more. It’s especially important to have a compliant privacy policy if you collect financial data, biodata, or information from minors.

As a result of global privacy protections, consumers have more control over who can collect their personal data and how it’s used. It ensures transparency while still allowing companies to collect information they need for marketing and e-commerce purposes.

Why is a privacy notice for e-commerce websites important?

One giant reason to have an e-commerce privacy policy is that if your company runs afoul of global privacy laws, it could be subject to strict fines and penalties. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act can subject you to fines ranging from $2,500 per violation for domestic violations to $7,500 for international violations if you fail to comply within the 30-day cure period. Those fines can add up fast, and are often devastating to small businesses.

What should be included?

The scope of your e-commerce privacy policy will depend on how big your company is and how complex your operations are. Major corporations like Amazon, Google, and Facebook have extremely detailed privacy policies, while smaller e-commerce websites may not require the same level of specificity.

Generally speaking, your privacy policy should include information about:

  • Company name and contact information
  • Type of data collected
  • How the data is collected
  • The purpose of data collection (e.g., marketing and analytics)
  • Types of information collected
  • Whether third parties will have access to the information
  • Whether third parties may collect data through widgets, including social media buttons
  • Cross-border and overseas data collection information
  • Rights of users to view, edit, and delete their own data and how to do it
  • Description of the process the company uses to notify users of privacy policy changes
  • The effective date

This ensures that your customers’ and visitors’ personal data is protected, they know how it will be used, how they can control it, and how they’ll be notified of changes or potential data breaches. Depending on the territories involved and the size of your company, you may need to comply with specific provisions. This requires careful research to determine which laws apply to your e-commerce site, and how to do so.

How to create an e-commerce privacy policy with SixFifty

Creating a compliant e-commerce privacy policy can be complex—especially because the United States does not have a comprehensive federal privacy law. Drafting a compliant policy takes significant legal research. While major corporations may have dedicated in-house legal teams, smaller and mid-size businesses often don’t have the same luxury. Racking up billable hours with an attorney to draft a privacy policy from scratch is often cost-prohibitive.

On the other hand, relying on a one-size-fits-all privacy policy can expose your company to significant risk of fines and penalties. It’s prudent to have a customized privacy policy from the outset, in order to cover all your bases. That’s where SixFifty comes in. Our privacy tools are the ideal middle ground between drafting a document from scratch and using a template. We combine real legal expertise with powerful technology to make it fast and cost-effective to create custom e-commerce privacy policies. Simply answer a few questions about your company and download the generated document.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a free product demo today!