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Do You Need to Update Your Website’s Privacy Policy?

Posted on in Online Contracts

Tampa online privacy policy attorneyAs a business owner, you know how important your website is for attracting new customers and generating sales. But are you confident that your Terms of Service and Privacy Policy pages are up-to-date with current laws and fully protecting you from potential lawsuits?

A Privacy Policy is required by law when your website collects customer emails, phone numbers, shipping addresses, or other personally identifiable information (PII). The Terms of Service can be equally important to protect your business from legal liability. This article will focus strictly on Privacy Policy, with a future article addressing Terms of Service.

Consumer Privacy Laws Are Becoming More Strict

The laws governing consumer data privacy have changed dramatically in recent years in response to many serious incidents of data breaches and identity theft. Consumer data privacy and cybersecurity are now deeply intertwined.

One major change involves the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which took effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR applies to all companies worldwide who hold PII on EU residents. Even many large companies are having trouble meeting all of the data-privacy requirements of the GDPR. For example, U.S. publishing company Tronc, Inc., the owner of online news sites such as Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, had to block access to all EU users in May because they were not yet in compliance.

Another recent major change was the passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which takes effect on January 1, 2020. This law will affect all for-profit entities that do business in California and meet one or more of these criteria: (A) the company has annual gross revenues over $25 million, (B) the company receives, buys, sells, or shares PII on 50,000 or more consumers, households, or devices, or (C) the company derives at least 50 percent of its annual revenues from selling consumers’ personal data. 

This law requires, among other things, that businesses “provide a clear and conspicuous link on the business’ Internet homepage, titled ‘Do Not Sell My Personal Information,’ to an Internet Web page that enables a consumer, or a person authorized by the consumer, to opt out of the sale of the consumer’s personal information.”

The law also requires businesses to provide “reasonable security” to protect consumer data and to pay damages to consumers whose personal information is breached or stolen.

Choose a Dedicated Tampa Cyber Law Attorney 

A business of any size could find themselves facing a lawsuit and steep fines if their cybersecurity fails to protect the private data of their customers.  A St. Petersburg cyber law attorney who is highly knowledgeable in cyber law can help. At Nelson Cyber Law, PLLC, we will review your online privacy policy and recommend any necessary changes to comply with the latest laws. Call 1-800-440-5536 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Sources:

https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us/news/cyber/la-times-and-chicago-tribune-eu-exit-highlights-complexity-of-gdpr-105578.aspx

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB375

https://www.forbes.com/sites/artneill/2018/06/29/what-you-should-know-about-the-new-california-consumer-privacy-law/#793c8f8f1f76

https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/89201-a-seismic-shift-what-californias-new-privacy-law-means-for-cybersecurity

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