Website privacy policy

This free website privacy policy is a comprehensive document that can be adapted for use on any website, whether you are trading online, offline or just providing information. The 2011 amendment to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations is applicable to all but the simplest of organisations. As well as helping you to comply with the law, this notice will communicate that you take privacy seriously. We provide this template as a free download, subject to you retaining the credit and link to our site.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
  • Solicitor approved
  • Plain English makes editing easy
  • Guidance notes included
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About this website privacy policy

This is a free website privacy policy, referred to now by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) as a privacy notice.

It is written in plain language that is visitor friendly. We have provided a large menu of paragraphs so that you can easily tailor the notice to suit the exact structure of your business and website.

Although this document cannot magically absolve you from risk of data mismanagement, it is a giant first step. Informing your visitors and customers (and other parties) about the data you collect about them is a legal requirement.

A privacy notice is a simple way to comply, but a good privacy notice goes further. It is prime evidence to everyone you deal with and to the ICO, that you take confidentiality seriously. That can help increase the trust that visitors and customers have in your business and boost confidence in using your services or buying from you.

If you have a website, regardless of whether you are trading from it, it is highly likely that you will be collecting information about your customers in some way, even if you don’t use the information. A common example of information collection that is covered by the law is anonymous visitor tracking. If you use Google Analytics, weblogs or any similar software, your privacy policy will need to disclose this.

As well as the privacy notice, we have included a copy of the ICO guidelines in Word format.

Terms regarding use of this free privacy policy template

We provide this template for free, but require under our terms of use, that

  • you retain the credit to Net Lawman in any version, including adapted ones; and
  • that you link to any page on www.netlawman.co.uk if you publish the privacy policy on a website

The law in this notice

A combination of telephone hacking, other privacy scandals and the publication of an amendment to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations has completely changed the scenery in the area of privacy law and the expectations of those with whom we deal. There are new rules for websites that use cookies and similar technologies and for companies that send marketing or advertising material electronically. In essence, the vast majority of businesses will need to update their privacy policies to comply with the new rules. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to £500,000.

The ICO has provided a guide to what you should and should not be saying in your privacy notice. However, the law is new, and has been handed to the UK from Europe. It is clear that the ICO does not know how its requirements will unfold. We find the ICO’s guidance at times is unspecific and muddled. So as to provide our customers with the greatest possible level of compliance, the Net Lawman website privacy policy follows the guidance as closely as possible, expanding with greater detail in areas that are less clear.

This Net Lawman website privacy policy complies with UK law, including the Data Protection Act. (Note that having a privacy notice is just part of the requirements for compliance with the DPA).

Features and contents

Your privacy notice should reflect the way your organisation collects and uses data. This will change between organisations enough to make each privacy policy unique, but with common elements that can be covered with standardised statements. In short, you will need to edit your privacy policy to reflect how your website and organisation operates, but we have done much of the legwork for you to make it an easy process.

There are 29 paragraphs in this document. In places we have provided a number of possibilities, where you choose the most appropriate from the menu and delete the others. In other places, we have provided ideas and the most common scenarios, but the notice may require a little customisation to reflect fully your business.

The notice is drawn around:

  • reminding you how to avoid contravening the UK Data Protection Act and the new EU regulations;
  • providing re-assurance to your customers or clients;
  • maintaining a professional but friendly image.

The contents of the document include:

  • Categorisation of different types of information and how you use them
  • How you collect, use and store financial information
  • Information security and data retention
  • Fraud prevention
  • Cookies
  • Collection of information by other means (such as telephone calls and e-mails)
  • Complaints
  • Compliance with the law and disclosure to government
  • Processing data outside the UK
  • Data review, removal and update
  • Third party advertising
  • Use of site by children
  • Use of data for remarketing

As well as the privacy notice, we have included a copy of the ICO guidelines in Word format.

Draftsman

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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