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    Legal documents for website (privacy policy/terms and conditions)



    I am publishing a website, however I am unfamiliar with the legal requirements needed to ensure that it is legally compliant.  I was wondering if anyone can point me to trusted and reliable services that can perform these tasks such as writing privacy policy and terms and conditions documents or where I would be able to find more information.


    Many thanks,

    6 REPLIES 6

    Re: Legal documents for website (privacy policy/terms and conditions)

    For myself, I look at the website as a type of calling card, if you will and have always ran the business with the documents. The website may be the biggest part of the business, but it's a tool, in my opinion, not the actual business. Does that make sense? You'd have to have everything appropriate for the business and the website would be covered in that.


    It may depend on your geographical location as much as WHAT your business/website is and what service or information you provide. Good question-it never occurred to me to do it this way.


    Anyone else have an idea? Does anyone else go about this the same way and how?


    My head says that if we had to do legal stuff for both the website AND a business, even less people could afford to start a business (legal fees alone would put potential businesses out before the begin) or they'd do it illegally until they were shut down.



    Re: Legal documents for website (privacy policy/terms and conditions)

    ... I may have misunderstood because of the legally compliant vs. privacy policies, etc. Sorry about that. I am not deleting unless and until I know I jumped the gun.


    Great question, still. Can you look at other websites that are similar to what you want? What are you wanting it for? Sales? Comments? Information? Collecting information? Selling collected information?




    loRe: Legal documents for website (privacy policy/terms and conditions)

    Many thanks for the reply.  I've actually just built a website where users create accounts using their email address.  There's no sales or commerce involved.  I was just concerned that because I was storing email address I would need a privacy policy.  I've looked up a few sites online that provide templates but they don't seem to be too refutable to me.  


    I'm no legal eagle, and was just wondering what peoples experiences were and if they have any recommendations that they could provide.


    Thank you once again 

    Advocate VI Advocate VI
    Advocate VI

    Re: Legal documents for website (privacy policy/terms and conditions)

    As a web pro, I believe that all websites should have both a Privacy policy and a Terms of Use page. I add them to every site I build. And it's assumed that ANY website which asks for personal information (even if just emails), should have a policy.


    There are a number of free policy generators (some are templates, some ask you some questions to fine-tune the needs for your site).


    Even if you write it on your own, you need to cover some basic items:


    • What you collect (name, contact info, demographic info, other relevant info...)
    • What you do with the info you collect (answer the reader's questions, process their requests such as to schedule an appointment or deliver a product, use it to improve your services...)
    • Security (basic statement about the fact that you have put in place suitable physical and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the info collected)
    • Links to other sites (if you link to other sites, state that you can't be held responsible for the protection and privacy of any info readers provide while on those sites)
    • Controlling the info (assertion that you don't sell or distribute any info collected)
    • Instructions about how to contact you if the reader thinks you are holding incorrect or incomplete info, and a promise to correct any info found to be incorrect.

    Of course one would hope that you actually DO everything you say you do.


    Terms of Use is a bit different. That's about the assumptions you make regarding how people use the content of your site. For example:


    • Use of materials on the site is at your own risk.
    • No warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, etc. of information found on the site (useful to cover any accidental typos in pricing, etc.), and that it is subject to change without notice.
    • Statement of your ownership of the materials on the site (and this may get into trademarks, etc.). This includes the design/layout/appearance IF it was a custom design. If you're using a templated system where you used what was provided, you can't say this. Of course the content is under your ownership (assuming you didn't lift it from elsewhere). 
    • Disclaimer about links to other sites, that they are provided for convenience and do not signify endorsement (and you have no responsibility for the content of linked sites)
    • Unauthorized use of the site (or its contents) may give rise to a claim for damages and is subject to the laws of the US (or whatever country you are in).

    There's more that can be covered, but you get the idea. 



    Re: Legal documents for website (privacy policy/terms and conditions)

    Thank you very much for you reply.


    I've decided to go with a generator rather than build my own.  After doing a bit of research the ones I was looking into were https://termsfeed.com and https://www.iubenda.com.  I was wondering if you have any experience with online generators and if there was one to recommend?


    Thank you again.

    Advocate VI Advocate VI
    Advocate VI

    Re: Legal documents for website (privacy policy/terms and conditions)

    Sorry, I don't have a generator to recommend. I have boilerplate text that I developed over the years and I use it on my client sites. You could try a couple of them and see what they produce, comparing how they are different. 


    There are plenty of online examples, so it should not be hard to find a starting point, and then keep adjusting from there.