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What Happens If Your Website Doesn’t Have A Privacy Policy?

Paige Harris Apr 18, 2022 8:14:13 PM

What Happens If Your Website Doesn’t Have A Privacy Policy?

A privacy policy is a legal document that outlines a business’s data practices. It details how it collects, uses, shares, or stores consumers’ personal information. It’s legally required to have one under certain state and international data privacy laws.

If you’re wondering, “How do I create a privacy policy for my website?”, it’s not as complicated as it seems. You can even draft one using our free privacy policy generator. If your website doesn’t have a privacy policy, you’re putting your business at risk of hefty fines, drawn-out lawsuits, total closure, and the loss of customer trust.


Does My Business Need A Privacy Policy?

If your business, in any way, deals with personal information, then you must have a privacy policy on your website or app.

There’s no federal law in the US that mandates it, however, some data privacy laws that require it, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), are so far-reaching that even businesses headquartered outside of these regions legally need a privacy policy.

What If My Business Doesn’t Collect Personal Information?

Under certain conditions, some businesses are exempt from having a privacy policy. Typically, this only involves websites or apps that are purely informational and, in no way, collect data from their visitors. This is, however, extremely rare.

Even online entities that don’t explicitly collect or use consumer data may still be doing so even without realizing it. The use of cookies and other analytical trackers, for example, is enough to warrant the creation of a privacy policy. Therefore, it’s best to have a privacy policy anyway even if your business doesn’t collect personal information. This will protect your business, as well as ensure the public that your online activities are up to code.


Why Do I Need A Privacy Policy?

Though it seems like it, privacy policies aren’t just there to protect consumers. It’s also beneficial to a business in terms of operation and growth. Here are the three main reasons why you should have a privacy policy.

Legally Required

You must have a privacy policy to comply with local and international data privacy laws. The document ensures that your data processes have a legal basis and don’t obstruct the rights of consumers online.

Guides Your Data Practices

A privacy policy acts as a guide for employees on how to properly handle data. It details your business’s data practices, which staff can study and follow. This is helpful not just for data officers, but for anyone in your company that has to handle consumer information in any way, including your marketing and business development staff.

Builds Consumer Trust

When a business has a privacy policy, it signals that it cares about its customers’ data privacy rights. This builds consumer trust which, in turn, can translate to higher profits, increased customer retention, and more leads.


What Happens If I Don’t Have a Privacy Policy?

Here are the possible consequences you’ll face if you don’t have a privacy policy:

Hefty Fines

The fines for non-compliance with data privacy laws differ. But generally, these can get real big, real fast. The CCPA, for example, can impose fines of up to $7,500 for intentional violations. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but that amount is fined PER INFRACTION, which can quickly add up. The California State Attorney General once brought a claim against Delta Airlines for $37,500,000 in fines. The case failed this time, but the next violator might not be as lucky.

Data Privacy Lawsuits

If a consumer finds that you’re breaching their data privacy rights by failing to have a privacy policy, they can file a lawsuit against you. This can be a long process, which can cost you a lot of time and money in legal fees even if you win.

Loss Of Customer Trust

If you don’t have a privacy policy, consumers may assume that you’re not a trustworthy business, pushing them towards your competitors.

Business Closure

The worst-case scenario of not having a privacy policy is the complete closure of your business. Don’t let your hard work go to waste by not complying with the law.


How To Make A Privacy Policy

You can easily make a legally compliant privacy policy using Enzuzo’s privacy policy generator. It’s free, and you can get it done in three simple steps. You just have to answer a few questions, and you’ll be set to put it on your Shopify site immediately!

Generate a Free Privacy Policy

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