TIPS & KNOWLEDGE BASE

E-COMMERCE SPECIALISTS SINCE 1996

Automated Privacy Policy Updates for Your Peace of Mind

Privacy Policy Updates

Non-compliance penalties. Sounds scary, right?  Well, it should! As the law struggles to catch up to technology, new policies are being put into place to help protect the consumer. But that is leaving the door wide open for litigation on the part of site-owners. Even scarier than “penalty”, isn’t it? Privacy Policies are playing a big part in this.

Something as simple as not having the most up to date fine print on your website could leave you vulnerable to lawsuits and fines, resulting in thousands of dollars of loss on your part. Not to mention the stress and headache. For some businesses, this could be enough to close their doors for good. We recently discussed how important it is to have thorough and detailed Terms of Service on your site. This topic is more technical than outlining your return policies, though. 

Why Do I Need To Update Regularly?

Privacy policies cover some pretty serious information that pertain to the way a customer’s data is collected, used, and distributed. The data can include:

  • User demographics 
  • Site-usage specifics 
  • Financial and banking information
  • Contact information
  • Date of birth
  • Anything else you might enter into the fields on the website

It’s a big umbrella that, depending on the nature of your website, can mean some pretty serious repercussions if the information is misused or mishandled. 

In an effort to evolve with technology and combat cyber-security threats, many states are updating and introducing laws regarding privacy policies. In dealing specifically with online retail and brochure sites, for example, site owners have to keep an eye on digital privacy laws as well as consumer protection laws. To make things even more complicated, unlike territories such as Canada and the European Union, the United States does not have one general federal law to which site owners must adhere. 

Instead of one set of guidelines, site owners in the US have to wade through hundreds of laws introduced under both federal and state levels. Violating these laws could result in actions enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and of course, private lawsuits. You might be thinking to yourself, “I don’t plan on breaking any privacy laws”.  And that’s great! But unfortunately, not having up-to-date privacy policies can be considered a “deceptive practice”. That’s enough to land you in hot water with the FTC. It goes without saying that ensuring you have appropriate privacy policies on your website is really important, and really confusing.  But understanding why you need to update your policies is only a very small part of the battle.

How Do I Update My Privacy Policy?

When you start looking into how to update your policies, you’ll be greeted with all sorts of websites that offer some great information. Until suddenly you realize , it isn’t a general information site – it’s a company selling you their product. Making up-to-date privacy policies a requirement has created a market for companies that specialize in the task. This is both good and bad. 

On one hand, you have a variety of companies to choose from. They take care of the legalese on your behalf and hand over a block of text that you simply add to your site. Done and done. On the other hand, that means there is a significant amount of research you need to do to find the right company. Not to mention the cost of using such services. They can get very costly, very quickly, with complicated pricing structures. Many have expensive “add-ons” that, in some cases, you’re required to purchase to be considered compliant. And how can you be sure the company you’re using has tailored the content to your market? A privacy policy for a doctor’s website in Florida is going to be drastically different than one for a t-shirt retailer in New York.

You could always forego that route and talk to a lawyer to have a privacy policy written up for you. However, you run into essentially the same concerns. It’s expensive, and you need to really do your research. The lawyer you’re speaking to needs to specialize in digital privacy law, and stay current on the frequently changing rules. And of course, you have to pay for a new document every time a law changes. Suddenly that becomes a significantly less appealing path. So what’s a site owner to do?

We’ve Done the Research For You

The Glendale team is always on the look-out for ways that we can ensure our clients stay protected, and run as efficiently as possible. That’s why we take a lot of care when entering into partnerships with third-party companies. 

One of our newest collaborations is with Termageddon – yes, they know their name sounds goofy, don’t worry. While they have a light-hearted name, they take their work very seriously. In exploring the product, we’ve found several reasons that we recommend them over other term and policy providers out there.

They’ve been vetted

They proudly state on their site that Termageddon is the only privacy policy generator recognized by the International Associate of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

Active monitoring

Not only do they update their policies as changes occur, they actively monitor the landscape. Your updates aren’t a knee-jerk reaction to a big change; they are anticipated and carefully planned. 

Fully automated

One of the biggest perks about Termageddon is that the service can be fully automated. When new laws come up, your policy is updated and you’re sent a notification to inform you of the change. You don’t need to babysit your policy to make sure you’re covered every time a new bill is introduced.

Completely customized

When you sign up, you’ll be guided through a questionnaire to ensure the policy you get is tailored to your field and your needs. No blanket policies that then need to be updated with extra articles (purchased for additional fees). The policy you get is exactly what you need every time. Plus, you can edit and add to it as you see fit for no extra cost. 

Full-service system

You get privacy policies (of course). But Termageddon also covers cookie policies, terms and conditions, disclaimers, and end-user agreements. 

They aren’t trying to fleece you

Perhaps one of their best selling points is that Termageddon genuinely is not trying to put you through the wringer. They, unlike some of the other companies, believe that offering basic compliance as an upsell is unethical. With Termageddon, compliance is the whole point.

The team that owns and operates Termageddon is a partnership, not a corporate giant. Their aim is to protect other small to mid-sized businesses (that don’t have a team of lawyers on payroll) from the rigors of legal upkeep. All of this is why we’re enthusiastic about recommending them. For a small annual fee of only $99 (a special rate available by using promo code GLENDALE), your site can have active, ongoing protection that doesn’t need to be monitored or updated. Significantly lower than multiple trips to see your lawyer, don’t you think? 

There are enough risks involved with running your online store, app or informational site; unknowingly letting your privacy policies lapse doesn’t need to be one of them. If you’re interested in taking advantage of the special rate, or need a hand implementing your privacy and cookie policies, contact us.

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