- The types of data your website gathers from users
- What that data is used for
- How personal data is stored
- If any third parties have access to the data
Privacy policies might also mention user rights, data security measures, and procedures for users to opt-out or request changes to their data.
The Laws Surrounding Privacy Policies And Data Protection
There are strict laws in most countries surrounding how websites collect information from users and protect user privacy, and privacy policies are required by law in most cases. The Office of The Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) regulates the handling of personal information and is the most authoritative source of information on data privacy laws in Australia. It provides guidance on how to stay compliant with the latest regulations. If you’re ever unsure about privacy laws regarding your website, checking the OAIC website and following their guidance is the best way to ensure you’re in line with regulations.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of data protection regulations established by the European Union, and Australian websites don’t have to worry about being GDPR compliant. However, if your website targets a global audience or processes any kind of data from users in the EU, you need to comply with these regulations as well as the Australian ones.
- Your business name and contact details
- What kind of personal information you collect and share
- How you store the information collected
- Why you collect that information
- How you keep personal information secure
- If you disclose personal information to third parties
- Who can access and use personal information
- How users can lodge a privacy complaint
Personal data is anything that could make a user identifiable, like their name, home or email address, bank details, medical records, IP address or any other personally identifiable information.
- Is a private sector health service provider, including complementary therapists, gyms, weight loss clinics, child care centres
- Sells or purchases personal information
- Are a contractor working under contract with the government
- Is a credit provider or credit reporting body
- Or is a residential tenancy database operator
If your business is covered by the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles and you don’t comply, you can face investigation and heavy fines. Even if you’re not covered under the 1988 Act, having an online privacy statement and policy is still heavily recommended to ease users’ privacy concerns!
- Comprehensive starting point: Many templates are designed to cover a wide range of data collection and usage clauses, making it easier to cover all your bases.
- Legal Compliance: Choosing a template from a reputable legal website in Australia will help you stay in line with the relevant legal standards.
It’s also important to note that templates might not adapt well to evolving privacy laws or industry-specific changes, so you have no way of knowing they’re up to standard unless you check the regulations yourself.
1. Audit Your Data Practices
2. Outline The Key Information
3. Explain Your Data Collection Methods
You should plainly explain the methods you use to collect data, like through cookie use on your website, forms that collect information, analytics tools like Google Analytics, and third-party integration.
4. Be Transparent About The Use Of Personal Data
You need to be transparent with your users about how you use their personal data and be honest about whether it’s used for marketing, personalisation, or to track your website visitors.
5. Address Data Security
6. Explain User Rights
You should inform users about their privacy rights, such as their right to access, correct, or delete their personal information. You also need to explain the process for users to exercise these rights in as simple terms as possible.
7. Include Contact Information
8. Make Sure To Include An Opt-Out Option
If You’re Unsure, Seek Legal Advice
While these two documents aren’t necessarily a legal requirement like privacy policies, they’re often a good idea to have on your website if you’re providing a service or selling goods. They can protect you from any liability and lead to easier dispute resolution.
Increasing User Trust