How U.S. websites use visitors, customers and other users personal is a huge issue, due to the abuses of this information that have occurred. Federal law now requires much more transparency and detailed information in Privacy Policies than in the past. Websites now need to be very clear and upfront with their visitors when soliciting their personal information, as well as when and how they use this information once they have it.
- Is it written in plain English or still use legalese and
- Is it clear and transparent or does it “spin” what is says, such
as to make it sound like it’s protecting user information, when it’s actually
expanding how it can use this information, without permission?
- Does it specifically list and itemize what it does by categories
or only make broad statements about what it does?
1. Types of Personal Information Your Website (“Site”) Collects – some examples might include information that can be used to identify, locate, or contact an individual, such as relationship, transaction and account information.
2. How the Site Collects Personal Information – some examples might include by visiting the Site, by cookies and other automated and electronic means of collecting information, by email, text, postal mail, fax and social media.
3. How the Site Uses Personal Information — some examples might include to operate and improve the Site, provide offers, evaluate visitor interests, manage Site business, customer
service and to perform analytics.
4. When and Why the Site Discloses Personal Information – some examples might include to affiliated and third party companies, service providers and merchants.
5. Cookies and Related Technologies – are there specifics on what are, how they work and what they do?
6. Referring Friends to the Site – what happens if one does this?
7. Visitor Choices – is it clear how one can limit and manage their information on the Site and how it can be used by the Site?
8. Accessing and Correcting Visitor Personal Information – are there very clear, easy and robust ways for one to do this, including by easily contacting and getting prompt, useful
help from the Site?
9. Security of Personal Information –what does the Site do to secure personal information? Who can access it and how? Does it clearly state that that despite whatever security measures the Site takes, the Site can’t guarantee complete security?
10. Notice to Non-U.S. Residents – does the Site collect information from visitors located outside the U.S.? Keep it on servers outside the U.S? If so, is this stated and explained?
11. Privacy Practices of Third Parties – are other websites accessible through the Site? If so, does it state that the Site isn’t responsible for the way these other websites protect the privacy of their visitor information, even if the visitor came to them through the Site?
12. Communities –does the Site contains or is it linked to Twitter, Facebook or online communities, social media pages and areas where one can publicly post information, make
comments and communicate with others? If so, does it clearly explain this and the possible consequences to the visitor for using these linked communities?
a notice somewhere on the Site?
14. State Privacy Rights – does it explain applicable state laws for certain states’ residents visiting the Site?