Website Compliance 101: Why You Need a Privacy Policy on Your Website

Website Compliance 101 Why You Need a Privacy Policy on Your Website

This post was written by Jordan Farrar

Jordan is an accomplished Digital Marketer leading the team at akoca. Continuously enhancing his knowledge through industry updates and best practices, Jordan delivers top-tier solutions for clients. Within akoca, he oversees and guides various projects with his extensive knowledge and expertise. In addition, he's host for Abingdon’s Buzz local networking group, establishing solid connections with fellow businesses.
29 Apr, 2023
Website Compliance 101 Why You Need a Privacy Policy on Your Website

As a business owner have you ever wondered if your website is compliant with UK law?

As we mentioned in our recent post, one of the key requirements for website compliance is having a privacy policy. In fact, it’s not only a legal requirement but also a necessary step to protect the privacy rights of your website visitors.

Not having a privacy policy could result in legal action – something worth avoiding of course.

In this post, we’ll look at the steps you can take to ensure that your website meets the UK requirements.

It’s important to note that this article is intended to provide a broad overview and if you have specific queries, seeking advice from a legal expert is recommended.

So, let’s dive in and explore the land that is Privacy policys.

What is a privacy policy?

First and foremost, a privacy policy is a legal document that outlines how your website collects, uses, and shares personal information. Personal information can include anything from names and email addresses to IP addresses and cookies.

You’ve no doubt encountered a privacy policy at some point or another, they’re usually found in a websites footer or on the cookie pop up.

Image of our website footer with yellow arrows showing the privacy policy link

Image of our website footer with yellow arrows showing the privacy policy link

Privacy policy UK Law

In the UK, privacy policies are an essential part of any website that collects any personal information from its visitors.

This includes data collected through contact forms, newsletter sign-ups, or analytics tools like Google Analytics etc

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introduced in 2018, set out strict rules for how companies can collect, process, and store personal data.

Under these regulations, businesses must have a GDPR-compliant privacy policy in place to inform website visitors about how their personal data is being collected and used.

As we already touched on, failure to comply with GDPR regulations can result in significant fines and reputational damage. It’s essential that businesses operating in the UK take privacy policies seriously and make sure they are up to date with the latest regulations.

But a privacy policy isn’t just about meeting legal requirements. It’s also about building trust with your website visitors. By being transparent about how you collect and use their data, you can reassure them that their privacy is a top priority for your business.

How to write a privacy policy for your UK based business

Creating a GDPR-compliant privacy policy may seem like a daunting task, but there are many resources available to help businesses understand the requirements.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) offers guidance and templates for businesses to create a privacy policy that is tailored to their specific needs.

It’s important to remember that every business is different and may collect and use personal data in unique ways, so it’s crucial to create a privacy policy that is specific to your business.

When writing your Privacy policy, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Be transparent about what data you collect and why: This includes declaring any personal information such as name, email address, phone number, and address that you collect from your customers. You also need to explain how you use this data, and whether you share it with any third parties.
  • Consider the legal requirements that your privacy policy must adhere to: For example, as we’re based in the UK, our privacy policy must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which sets out specific requirements for how personal data should be handled.
  • Explain how individuals can exercise their rights: Under GDPR, individuals have 8 rights when it comes to their data. Your privacy policy should provide clear instructions no how they can make a request along with a timeframe in which you will handle this request. It’s also important to ensure you have proccesses in place to handle these requests and ensure they’re handled in a timely and efficient manner.

Common Privacy Policy questions

Do i need a privacy policy on my website?

Yes, if you collect any personal data from your website visitors, you need to have a privacy policy on your website.

This is a legal requirement under the UK’s Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Personal data includes any information that can be used to directly or indirectly identify a person, such as their name, email address, IP address, or any other information that relates to them.

What are the privacy policy requirements in the UK?

A privacy policy for a UK-based website should include information about what data is collected, how it is collected, how it is used, who it is shared with, and how it is secured.

It should also include details on how users can access their data and request that it be deleted, as well as information on how the policy may be updated in the future.

Do I need to update my privacy policy regularly?

Yes, it is important to review and update your privacy policy regularly, especially if you make any changes to the way you collect or use personal data.

You should also update your policy if there are any changes to data protection laws or regulations in the UK.

Can I use a privacy policy template for my website?

Yes, there are many templates available online that can be used as a starting point for creating a privacy policy.

However, it’s important to ensure that the template is customised to your specific business and website needs, and that it is compliant with relevant laws and regulations.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, website compliance is a crucial aspect of running a business in the UK. From displaying your company identity to protecting user data and adhering to copyright laws, there are many legal requirements that businesses must consider when setting up and maintaining their website.

One of the most important aspects of website compliance is having a privacy policy in place. Not only is it a legal requirement, but it also helps to build trust with your users and customers by showing that you take their privacy seriously.

When writing a privacy policy for your UK based business, be sure to include all the necessary information such as what data you collect, how you use it, and who you share it with. Keep it clear, concise, and easy to understand, and make sure it complies with the GDPR and other relevant laws and regulations.

By following these guidelines and seeking professional advice when necessary, you can ensure that your website is fully compliant and that your users’ privacy is protected.

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