Getting started online

When you offer your personal information online, you would want to know if your information is used for the right purposes. So do your website users.

Apart from staying compliant with Australian privacy laws, having an up-to-date and comprehensive Privacy Policy ensures that your website users know that you respect their information.

What is a Privacy Policy?

A Privacy Policy explicitly states what information you will collect from your users, and how that information will be used. This includes who the information will be passed on to and whether the information will be sent overseas. A Privacy Policy also includes clauses setting out the security and storage of personal information and whether your website uses cookies and/or support third party sites.

If your users are unhappy with your current standard of privacy, a Privacy Policy also sets out how they can lodge a complaint and also the steps you will take to address a complaint.

It also states how your users can make a complaint if they are unhappy with your current privacy standards, and the steps you will take to address such a complaint.

Do I need a Privacy Policy for my website?

Having a Privacy Policy that is compliant with current Australian privacy laws is a legal requirement. At the moment, this includes the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the 2014 amendment called the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). The APPs set out 13 standard rules that govern how an Australian business handles personal information. The Office of Australian Information Commissioner also sets out a guide of how to develop an APPs compliant Privacy Policy.

Failure to comply with these laws may potentially make you subject to penalties including enforceable undertakings or fines of up to $1.7million.

Limiting your liability

By having a Privacy Policy that complies with the APPs, you can limit most complaints to being addressed internally. However, just having a compliant Privacy Policy is not enough. You must ensure that your privacy practices are in-line with your Privacy Policy.

How do I create my Privacy Policy?

Creating your own Privacy Policy takes less than 5 minutes, meaning you can safely launch your website as soon as possible!

Unsure where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

James Miotto

James Miotto

James is a Paralegal, working in our content team, which aims to provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. With a passion for commercial law, his research focuses on small businesses, and how they can navigate convoluted legal procedures.