If you own a company or website which collects, stores, or processes personal data, you need a comprehensive privacy policy. People and companies who run afoul of their privacy obligations could find themselves subject to significant fines and penalties. It’s always worth knowing how to write a privacy policy, and why it’s important.

Privacy policies are legal documents which describe your company’s processes in handling consumer data and sensitive information. If you collect data from your website visitors—even to track traffic—you need your own custom privacy policy.

Can I create my own privacy policy?

Yes, you can create your own privacy policy, but you’ll need to research international laws to ensure that it’s compliant. Generally, your privacy statement needs to reflect your website’s data collection and use, and be clear enough for the average person to understand. If you write your own privacy policy, it’s important that you have a lawyer review before you implement it.

What is an example of a privacy policy?

The easiest way to find a privacy policy example is to visit a website and wait for a cookie or privacy notice to pop up. Follow the “learn more” or “view privacy policy” link. While that example might not meet your own company’s privacy policy needs, you can certainly look at theirs to see how they’re implemented.

Slack’s privacy policy is a great example of a compliant privacy policy, set out in an easy-to-understand form. Note that it uses easy-to-read text and subheadings to break up information into digestible chunks. It also includes a table of contents, which allows users to jump right into the section they want to review. While your own privacy policy is likely to differ from Slack’s, this is a great example to get you started.

What should be included in a privacy policy?

Remember, privacy policy laws differ both nationwide and on a global level. The only reliable way to ensure that your policy is compliant is to work with a lawyer—or use SixFifty’s cost-effective custom privacy policy generator.

Here are some key points to remember:

  • Accuracy: Your privacy policy must accurately describe how your website collects and uses data.
  • Updates: If you update your privacy policy and how you use data, you’ll want to inform your users.
  • Data type: Inform users of what type of data you use, such as names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and more. Sensitive personal data, like health information or GPS location data, should be listed separately.
  • Purpose: Don’t forget to include the purpose for which you collect data, such as providing services or marketing.
  • Access and use: Next, inform your users of who will have access to their data (e.g., in-house marketing professionals) and for what purpose it’s used. This could include customer lists, forum participation, shopping, and more.
  • Notification: Describe how your users will be informed when policies change. This might include email, snail mail, or other communications.
  • Contact information: If users or visitors have questions, they need to know who to contact.
  • Protection strategies: Finally, make sure that you list how your user information is protected, whether through digital safeguards or locked filing cabinets.

Keep in mind that this is a very broad overview of how to write your own privacy policy. Many territories have more restrictive conditions that can put your company at significant legal risk. It’s always best to have a lawyer confirm that your policies are compliant.

How to create a privacy policy 

Creating a privacy policy can be daunting, especially if you’re a sole proprietor or small business owner. Generally speaking, you should always have a lawyer review your legal documents to ensure that they’re compliant in the appropriate territories. Unfortunately, hiring an attorney or asking your legal team to draft a privacy policy can be time-consuming and expensive—and doing it on your own risks noncompliance.

Instead, consider using SixFifty’s privacy policy tools. Our lawyers’ research and knowledge powers our proprietary software, so you can create your own privacy policy in a fraction of the time of hiring a lawyer to do it. Once you’ve answered some questions about your company and how you use personal data, all you have to do is download the automatically generated document. You can then have your general counsel quickly review it. It’s fast, easy, and ensures that you’re compliant with ever-changing laws—we’ll even update you if and when laws change.

Create your own custom privacy policy with SixFifty

Creating your own custom privacy policy has never been easier. Let SixFifty handle the heavy lifting for you: our software tools are powered by real legal expertise, and allow you to generate custom, legally compliant documents in a fraction of the time and cost. Contact us today to schedule a demo!