Privacy policies are website agreements that act as a website owner’s statement or notice to website users. They indicate how the owner gathers, uses, manages, or discloses a user’s data or personal information. The personal information gathered or used by a website operator can range from simple email addresses to more personalized information. Some examples include, medical history, credit information, social security and other confidential information. States and countries often differ on privacy requirements. Therefore, guidelines over how a website operator should handle personal information may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Internet Privacy Policies in the United States
In the United States there are some overarching federal guidelines that regulate specific types of information or websites. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) affects websites that knowingly collect information from children under the age of thirteen. Similarly, the Gramm-Leach-Billy Act requires institutions significantly engaged in financial activities to give statements about their information sharing practices.
On a state level, some jurisdictions have implemented regulations and rules as well. As a result, website owners may be less aware of these state-specific rules. For example, California implemented the California Online Privacy Act (COPA). It requires commercial websites or online services collecting personal information from California residents to post their privacy policies. Nebraska and Pennsylvania, similarly, have laws that govern the use of misleading statements in privacy policies.
Custom Drafted Privacy Policies
Additional Insights Regarding Privacy Policies