You’ve probably received quite a few emails from companies notifying you that they updated their Privacy Policy. Data privacy is becoming a very big deal, and because of that, we’ve been doing some research. The result is that you may want to consider not only getting a Privacy Policy if you don’t already have one, but also having a strategy to keep it up to date.

What are privacy laws and why does your business need to be concerned?

Privacy laws exist to protect the personal information of individuals online. Privacy laws start applying as soon as a website asks for a name and an email on a contact form.

In the USA

Several privacy laws are now in place to protect the personal information of residents of certain states with fines that can reach $2,500-$7,500 per website visitor. Examples of personal information include asking for a name and email on a contact form or using a website analytics tool (like Google Analytics).

More and more states are proposing their own privacy laws as well. In the US, there are 23 state privacy bills (and more are expected). Some of these bills would enable citizens to sue businesses for having a contact form without an updated Privacy Policy.

Several of these state bills make note that businesses of any size and any location will have to comply or may face fines or lawsuits, which is why we want you to be aware of what’s going on.

In Canada

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) of Canada has imposed strict requirements on website operators to have a Privacy Policy that contains very specific disclosures. While this law was enacted a while ago, there has been an increase in complaints from consumers regarding the collection of their personal information online. This increase is what could result in increased enforcement of this law.

To reiterate, having a website with as little as a contact form means that you are collecting personal information and should consider having a Privacy Policy with the necessary disclosures required by PIPEDA.

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In addition, Canada has recently proposed a new privacy bill, The Consumer Privacy Protection Act. If passed, this law will require companies to update their Privacy Policy with new disclosures. This law will also enable Canadians to sue any business for collecting their personal information without displaying a Privacy Policy that includes the newly required disclosures. This is a good example of the ever-changing nature of privacy laws and we recommend that you not only have a comprehensive Privacy Policy in place but that you also develop a strategy to keep your policies up to date when these laws are amended or when new laws are implemented.

What can you do to get protected?

To make this as easy as possible, Physis Publishing has partnered up with a Privacy Policy generator called Termageddon (created by a husband/web designer and wife/lawyer dream team). We’ve already embedded their Privacy Policy in our own website – you can see it here: Physis Publishing Privacy Policy.

The beauty of this partnership is that we will help you get your Privacy Policy all set up, if you want the help, and the folks at Termageddon will automatically update your website policies when the laws change (as well as notify you when changes are coming). Alternatively, you can get a Termageddon Privacy Policy for your website and install it yourself.

Your Termageddon license costs $99 per year (about $132 per year CAD), and we can help you get your policy, create the policy page and menu link, insert and test the code, and ensure your policies stay up to date with changes to the law for a one-time setup fee of $180.

And if you already have a hosting & maintenance package with Physis Publishing, this one-time setup fee goes down to $140.

If this sounds like a good solution for you send us a message below and we can talk about getting your always up-to-date Privacy Policy built out and published ASAP.

Alternatively, if you would rather create your own account and embed the code into your Privacy Policy page yourself, you can do that here: Get Started with Termageddon. (You’ll get a 10% off your first year payment if you enter the code PHYSIS.)

Get Help with Your Privacy Policy