We all know the main purpose of your website is to grow your business, right? Your website plays a big part in many things. It helps you connect with existing and potential customers. It’s there to showcase your offers and ensures you stand out from the crowd.
Don’t worry, there are actually some great benefits you’ll receive from privacy law compliance that will make it all worthwhile. Also, it’s better to be safe and protected, than not, right?
Privacy laws are in place to regulate the collection of PII. Therefore, it’s important to know whether your website requires one or not.
So what exactly is PII?
PII includes information such as names, emails, phone numbers, and IP addresses. This information is often collected through contact forms, email newsletter signups, or account creation forms. Another way this info can be collected is through analytics tools such as Google Analytics. Below is an example of a contact form that collects PII – names, emails, and phone numbers.
What are the consequences of collecting PII?
PII information is sensitive. That’s because you are dealing with the personal details of your customers. So, it’s important that you have a clear explanation of how you collect that information. It’s also important that you make sure you comply with the privacy laws around the storage, use, and security of such information. You may also want to ensure you are compliant with privacy laws from other states and territories, especially if you do business in areas other than your local region.
When it comes to determining what privacy laws apply to you, the questions to ask include:
- Where do you do business?
- Where are your customers located?
- Whose PII does your website collect or could be collecting?
- Who do you offer your goods and services to
- Whose behavior are you tracking online through your analytics tools?
A great example of a broad reach of privacy laws is the California Online Privacy and Protection Act of 2003 (CalOPPA). This applies to business websites that collect the PII of California consumers. This law applies to almost all modern websites because Californian residents can submit their PII to any website.
These fines can add up fast! For example, if you have 100 website visitors from California per month, the fine would be calculated as $2,500 x 100. Ouch, right?
We promised you, there were some benefits, and here they are.
What should you do now?
- You can ask your lawyer to craft something. It will be expensive, and we have no opinion as to their skill in doing this. It’s a bit specialized. Plus, the laws are changing, so the policy will need to be updated frequently, which generates even more expense.