Why you need a Website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

17th October 2016
Guest Writer – Anthony Lieu from LegalVision

Browsing a website is likely to involve the collection of personal data. Whether it be filling in a form or through a covert website cookie. Business owners who have websites are required to securely store the data they collect and inform all website visitors about how their information is collected and used.

Website visitors should have easy access to the Terms and Conditions when accessing the website.  A website Privacy Policy and website Terms of Use are two key legal documents required for every website where information is collected.

What is a Website Privacy Policy?
A website Privacy Policy sets out the terms of how information is collected and used by the website owner, whether it be an individual or business. A Privacy Policy should be drafted to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) where applicable. To be compliant with the APPs, a Privacy Policy must specify:
1. The control measures a website will use to manage data securely;
2. The purpose of holding the information;
3. Whether information will be disclosed to third parties i.e. payment portals, advertising tools; and
4. The process for reporting a breach of privacy.

If relevant, the policy may also have a section dedicated to sensitive information. Sensitive information is generally personal, health related or biometric in nature. Due to its sensitivity, it can usually not be disclosed for anything beyond its primary purpose as stated in the Privacy Policy.

What is a Website Terms of Use?
A website Terms of Use document sets out what a visitor is allowed to do and what they are prohibited from doing when they visit a website. This legal document usually covers clauses such as liability,
intellectual property protection and how visitors can interact with the website. Website Terms of Use
should also include clauses that set out how information is used. For example, if a website collects
email addresses for newsletters, the website Terms of Use should set out a clear clause on how website visitors can opt-out of submitting their email to the database.

Whether you are running an e-Commerce website or a blog for your clients, you should always have a
Website Privacy Policy and Terms of Use to protect your business. These two legal documents should be drafted specifically for your website to ensure you are fully protected. If you have any questions about online legal documents, get in touch with LegalVision.

Author Bio Anthony Lieu is a lawyer and Strategist at LegalVision.  He has a keen interest in start-up law, IT law and scaling fast-growing businesses. He has a strong understanding in how start-ups operate at all stages and how to navigate the myriad of legal issues surrounding online businesses. He has worked in the public and private legal sector, specialising in disputes and litigation, corporate advisory and tax controversy.

This article featured in the October Edition of Paeds Biz.

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