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Do I Need A Privacy Policy For My Business’s Facebook Page?

Do I Need A Privacy Policy For My Business’s Facebook Page?

Managing a Facebook Page for your business isn't as simple as it seems

29th October 2018

Ways of selling products and promoting them have certainly changed over the past decade. Beyond most businesses having websites now, many also promote and sell products through Facebook.

When it comes to having a website for your business, it goes without saying that if your business has a website, and if it collects any information from visitors (which it most likely does) – you need to have a privacy policy.

But what about when it comes to social media? And further, what about your business’s page on Facebook? Here we will outline everything you need to know about privacy policies for businesses who manage a Facebook Page.

Facebook has recently changed its privacy policy

Earlier this year, Facebook announced a swathe of the changes to its privacy policy, in line with new requirements under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This was mainly focused on the collection of user data on Facebook and to ensure that customers understand what information is being collected by Facebook. Similarly, Facebook have clamped down on how businesses collect customer data on their Facebook Page. Facebook are also stricter on business’s who do not comply with privacy requirements and will ban them if they don’t comply.

This can be a bit of a grey area, as it’s not entirely clear whether as a business, you have to have a privacy policy or whether because you’re operating on Facebook, you’re covered under their terms. The answer, put simply, is yes and no. A privacy lawyer can advise you on your specific circumstances, and what you will need in order to comply with not only Facebook’s terms, but also privacy laws. This also depends on where your business will be operating – your obligations will be different if you’re advertising or selling in the European Union, rather than just the Australian market.

What will your Facebook Page do?

Having a privacy policy on Facebook is dependant on what customers do on your page. If customers provide any details on your page, such as contact details or payment information, then you must have a separate privacy policy to operate on the platform. This can be the same policy you use on your individual website, and should link to your terms of use. If your business will be advertising on Facebook you will also be required to provide details of your privacy policy to Facebook. Previous controversies surrounding Facebook and privacy have involved Facebook logins linking to third party apps. Subsequently, a privacy policy also needs to be in place if you are operating your business as an app through Facebook.

If your page does not collect any data from customers, and is there merely for people to ‘like’, then you won’t necessarily need a privacy policy – but it’s always better to have one there (in the ‘notes’ section of your page) anyway.

Customer data

Privacy policies are so vital because it informs a user about the information you’re going to collect about them, and how it will be used. From this, a customer can decide whether they’re willing to give up this information to use your site (or Facebook page). The key here is that a user consents to this information being collected. On Facebook, data is not only shared by what users do personally on the site, but also any transactions or business pages they visit.

The adage ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry’ just about sums up the complicated world of consumer-driven data collection and privacy requirements. Although it’s a legal essential to have a privacy policy if your business has a website, you should also have one in place if you plan to promote, sell or have any sort of presence on social media sites such as Facebook. Not having adequate privacy processes in place will not only carry financial penalties, but could also do serious damage to your brand’s reputation.

Have more questions? 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
Jackie Olling

Jackie is the Content Manager at Lawpath and manages the content team. She has a Law/Arts (Politics) degree from Macquarie University and is an admitted solicitor in the Supreme Court of NSW. She's interested in how technology can help shape the future legal landscape.