Do You Need a Privacy Policy on Your Website?

Do You Need a Privacy Policy on Your Website?
HostedInCanada.com Answers this question & provides
a Cost-Effective Option!

A quick look at Google and Facebook conversations concerning their security breaches plus GDPR arriving and it is pretty easy to see online privacy is something at the front of people’s minds. If you are the owner of a website or business here in Canada, this makes your Website Privacy statement something you shouldn’t skip over. No worries, at HostedInCanada.com we would love to give you some Canadian thoughts on the subject, backed by experience, while we provide links that can help you create, update, or re-evaluate your privacy policy.

The obvious first question is…Privacy Policy for website in Canada

Don’t people just ignore website privacy policies anyway?

Honestly, privacy policies aren’t something that attracts a ton of attention. In fact, a 2016 study from York University here in Canada revealed that 77% of people never even look at privacy policies. The same study showed that 98% of visitors said “Yes” to a Privacy Policy which included a clause pay with their eldest child for visiting the website. And no one even noticed!

So the facts agree, not many visitors to your website will read your Privacy Policy. But that isn’t why you have one, as you’ll see below.

The Top Three Reasons Why You NEED a Privacy Policy on Your Site (Even if Few Read It!):

  1. Boost Customer Trust: If your customers DO come up with a privacy concern they can quickly see it is an issue you have thought about and addressed. This builds trust in a proactive way, the way that matters most.
  2. Cut Liability and Decrease Risk: Make no mistake by having a Privacy Policy published, most would agree, you have taken a big first step towards meeting the legal obligations surrounding the management of customer data. This can protect your customers as well as protect you should a customer decide they want to question your commitment to privacy.
  3. It Builds Internal Privacy Awareness: By writing an effective privacy policy, you need to actively consider Privacy issues. This exercise will reveal organizational weaknesses you can address that you are likely to be very grateful for in the future.

 

PIPEDA: Canada’s Major Privacy Requirements

If you are a Canadian company or you collect information from Canadian visitors, then you need to understand PIPEDA: the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act of Canada.

PIPEDA explains what they consider personal information and delivers ten principles that every business active in Canada needs to address.

According to PIPEDA, there are two types of personal information you need to be concerned with:

Customer Information –  financial and shipping.

Employee Information –  SIN numbers, employment records, and applications & resumes.

PIPEDA talks about very important things if you collect this information like the need for consent before the collection of personal information and how you can use and dispose of this information. PIPEDA also includes audit and compliance procedures.

Importantly, for the subject of this article from your friends at HostedInCanada, if you gather either of these two types of information, you need to develop a privacy policy.

The good news is the Privacy Commissioner’s website has a guide that walks you through each of the ten principles and how to can handle them. There’s even an archive with examples for each.  So as far as the red tape goes this is far from the worst a business has to address, thankfully.

BUT keep reading for a link to the EASIEST and best way to create a Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions and Cookie Policy that keeps you safe.

Other Website Owner & Entrepreneur Privacy Considerations

 Some of PIPEDA’s ten principles worth spending some extra thought on.

Subscription and Spam

There’s no way around it - If you are collecting emails for a contact list in Canada, you are considered to be collecting personal information. This means Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) which dictates how to gather, maintain and use this type of information applies. This legislation has rules you need to follow regarding consent to join your email list, how you need to provide ways to unsubscribe easily, your data protection and explicit use provisions. Explore their Fast Facts page to learn more and make sure you are doing what you need to be doing to make sure your email marketing is on point.

Cookies

Cookies track visitor website activity, kind of like an identification card. Cookies can add a great deal to users' website experience through increased functionality, but they also cause user privacy concerns since they do often track personal information. Due to the different types of cookies and the diversity of information they can collect, the Canadian Government doesn’t need you to moderate user’s cookies for them. Instead, this is the website visitor's responsibility to manage their cookie preferences, according to the Canadian regulations. More details can be found on web tracking with cookies on the website of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Making Your Own Privacy Policy

Now that you understand the importance of a Privacy Policy, it is probably time to make your own that makes sure you’re compliant with PIPEDA.

HostedInCanada.com recommends developing a privacy policy and internal procedures for your website in Canada by reviewing the contents of the PIPEDA compliance help page for businesses, provided by the Privacy Commissioner, as an easy to follow guide.

Of course, laws and regulations in Canada are dynamic and continue to evolve. This means writing your own privacy policy isn’t the end of the story. You should make sure to review it in light of the most recent guidelines at least once a year.

Finally…

Other than the legal obligations of a website owner, privacy is important as someone who engages in online communities in a positive way. Following the rules in this area makes things safer for everyone involved – even if you are never dragged into a legal situation.

Building a privacy policy lets you demonstrate your online business principles, your values and your integrity.

Finally here is the best website, in our opinion to build a Canadian based Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions and we recommend a Cookie policy as well if you have Google Analytics setup or any script collecting data:

Create your Privacy Policy agreement   Create your Terms and Conditions agreement

Let’s help the internet and online businesses thrive in Canada together!

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