The digital age is accelerating the exchange of personal data, highlighting data privacy as a fundamental human right. To ensure the protection of personal data, websites and applications are implementing privacy policies to transparently communicate how they plan to collect, store, use, and share information. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the legal requirements of privacy policies, their purpose, and what they should include.
- Types of personal information the organization collects: The policy should specify the collection of information by type, like name, email address, health information, or credit card information.
- How the business will collect information: The policy should include a disclaimer on how the website will collect such information — through forms or cookies, for example.
- Purpose of personal information collection: The policy should specify the purpose of personal information collection, like marketing operations or providing a service.
- How the business uses personal information: The policy should explain how the company uses personally identifiable information (PII) for content personalization, processing transactions, or other purposes.
- How the business shares personal information: The policy should specify how the organization shares personal information with third-party service providers, advertisers, or others.
- Security measures: The policy should explain the safeguards in place protecting personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure in the event of data breaches or other security incidents.
- User rights: The policy should specify the rights of users regarding their personal information, like the right to access, correct, or delete it.
- Contact information: The policy should include contact information for the website or application, like an email address or phone number.
Legal Requirements for Privacy Policies
Several data protection laws and regulations call for privacy policies. The most notable privacy laws requiring privacy policies are the European Union’s GDPR, and the CCPA in the United States. These laws require websites and mobile apps to implement comprehensive, transparent, and easily accessible privacy policies.
Before collecting, using, or sharing personal information, websites and applications must obtain user consent. User consent must be informed, meaning clear and understandable information about the collection, use, and sharing of personal information must be provided to users.
Privacy policies under GDPR
The GDPR is a comprehensive data privacy regulation applying to businesses operating within and outside the EU that process the personal data of EU residents. GDPR places significant emphasis on the importance of privacy policies and requires businesses to provide clear and transparent information to individuals about the processing of their personal data.
Under GDPR, privacy policies must include specific information like the legal basis for processing personal data, the types of personal data collected, the purposes of data processing, how long the data is held, and the individuals or organizations with which the collecting company shares the data. Privacy policies must also inform individuals of their rights under GDPR, like the right to access and rectify their personal data, and the right to erasure in certain circumstances.
In addition to providing this information, GDPR also requires businesses to obtain explicit consent from individuals before processing their personal data for certain uses, like marketing. This means businesses must provide clear and unambiguous information to individuals about the processing of their personal data, and obtain affirmative consent from them before processing it.
Privacy policies under CCPA
The CCPA is a privacy law giving California residents certain rights with respect to their personal information. Similar to GDPR, CCPA requires businesses to provide clear and transparent information to individuals about the processing of their personal data and places specific requirements on privacy policies.
Under CCPA, privacy policies must include certain information like the types of personal information collected, the collection and processing purposes, and the categories of third parties with whom the information is shared. Privacy policies must also provide California residents with information about their rights under CCPA, including the right to know what personal information is collected, the right to request personal information deletion, and the right to opt out of the sale of their personal information.
CCPA also requires businesses to make certain disclosures to individuals before collecting their personal information. Specifically, businesses must provide a notice at, or before, the point of collection describing the categories of personal information being collected and the usage purposes.
Overall, CCPA emphasizes transparency and gives California residents important personal information rights. Businesses subject to CCPA must ensure their privacy policies comply with the regulation, and should regularly review and update their policies to ensure ongoing accuracy.
Privacy Policies under CalOPPA
Under CalOPPA, privacy policies must identify the categories of personal information they collect, the categories of third parties with whom they share the information, and how individuals can review and request changes to their personal information. Privacy policies must also include information about how the business responds to “Do Not Track” signals and how it complies with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
CalOPPA requires businesses to make their privacy policies conspicuously available to individuals through a link on their website homepage or within the online service. Businesses failing to comply with CalOPPA can face penalties of up to $2,500 per violation.
Overall, CalOPPA emphasizes transparency and requires websites and online services to provide clear and understandable information to California residents about the collection, use, and sharing of their personal information. Businesses subject to CalOPPA should ensure their privacy policies are easily accessible and CalOPPA compliant.
SixFifty’s All-US Privacy toolset helps organizations comply with every privacy law in the United States, including the CCPA. Organizations can easily and effectively generate customized legal documents written by top legal experts and required by varying privacy laws around the country. As privacy laws pass in new states, SixFifty updates their tools to include them so your documents are always up to date.