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A well-written policy is vital to the design of any campground website. There are numerous privacy laws that companies operating a website must be aware of and follow, and privacy policies are one way a company can stay compliant with these laws. These policies also offer potential customers peace of mind when they browse your campground website. Online privacy is a big topic in the news, and your potential customers likely keep their privacy in mind when browsing online. With a clear and concise policy, you can make sure any potential customers browsing your campground website will feel secure in knowing that their personal information and privacy is protected.
Privacy policies are documents that explain how your campground uses the information it collects from the people utilizing your services or visiting your website.
Most websites provide a clearly labeled policy for everyone that visits the website. While these policies help to establish trust between your company and the people that may browse your website, there is still much debate on whether or not privacy policies are legal, binding contracts. The Federal Trade Commission in the United States usually doesn’t consider a data breach legally actionable unless the breach is connected to a loss of money. Other governing bodies, such as the European Union’s Data Protection Directive, are much more strict and have gone after companies that change their privacy policies in ways that are contrary to laws passed by the European Union.
Now that you have a better understanding of what these policies are, you may be wondering if your campground website needs one. The answer to this question is yes.
What Should You Include in Your Privacy Policies?
The first thing your policy needs to address is the types of information you will be collecting. In order to stay in good legal standing when it comes to privacy laws, make sure that you explicitly list every single type of information your website gathers. This includes things like Google Analytics which almost every business already uses.
Another important aspect your policy must touch on is how you store the information you have gathered and who has access to the data. The people browsing your website want to feel safe, and reassuring them that their information will be safe and secure gives them the peace of mind they need to share their information with you fully.
You should also detail the ways in which you use the information you gather. Do you sell it to third parties? How long do you store the data? These are all important questions people may have while reading your policy.
The European Union has passed legislation called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR goes into effect in May of 2018, and any company that has a web presence should follow the basic GDPR framework when it comes to drafting their privacy policies in order to make sure EU privacy laws are followed. To make sure you are in accordance with the GDPR, your policy needs to include information on who is collecting the data, a list of all data being collected, the legal basis for processing the data, a list of third parties the data will be shared with, how the information will be used, how long the data will be stored for, the rights the data subject have, and the ways in which the data subject can raise a complaint.
Why do you need to worry about a European privacy law when your campground is located in the United States? The way the GDPR is worded includes protections for any EU citizens who are browsing your campground website from their home located inside the European Union. How they might go about enforcing penalties in the United States for violations is not clear, nor is what exactly needs to be done to avoid a violation when you are not advertising to EU citizens. Taking a proactive approach to this problem will ensure that you have nothing to worry about, though, and that you stay ahead of other laws that may be passed in the future.
Privacy Policies are an important part of any website. If you have trouble creating your website’s policy, following this simple framework will make sure you are providing your customers with the information they need. It will also make sure your website exists in accordance with privacy laws from around the world.