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How to Create a Privacy Policy (2020 Update)

How to Create a Privacy Policy (2020 Update)

Customers value their information and it's more important than ever that businesses protect it. Find out how to create a Privacy Policy in this article.

23rd June 2020

Protecting information online

When you share personal information online, you might wonder where this information goes. Further, you might also question how it’s used and whether it’s protected. The same applies for customers of your business. This is why it’s important to inform your customers how you deal with their information by using a privacy policy. 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. Privacy policies are becoming commonplace amongst business websites and many customers now expect that a business will have one. IN this article, we’ll explain how you can create a Privacy Policy.

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 supports 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 is a legal requirement for businesses with a turnover of more than $3 million per year. This falls under 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 result in penalties including enforceable undertakings or fines of up to $1.7million.

For smaller businesses

Even if your business has turnover of less than $3 million per year, it’s always a good idea to have a privacy policy. This will inspire trust in your customers when they know that you take their privacy seriously. Further, you will need to have a privacy policy if you’re planning to sell on Facebook, eBay or other eCommerce platforms.

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?

You can customise and download your own Privacy Policy online. You can also access a GDPR compliant privacy policy if you plan on doing business in the European Union. This whole process takes less than 5 minutes, meaning you can safely launch your website as soon as possible.

Don’t know where to start?
Contact a Lawpath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace.

Author
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.