Data Regulations Are Coming

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Recent news centered around Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s capital hill testimony.  Mark was called to testify because it was revealed that Facebook’s platform was used to collect data from US voters that was later used to manipulate the 2016 presidential election (not to mention elections worldwide).  I won’t attempt to cover all the details of the data breach, however I do want to outline what these revelations will mean to small business owners, and their websites.

Privacy, and data retention policies are becoming front and center for lawmakers, and as a result website owners need to review what data they collect, track and disclose.  The European Union (as usual) is leading the consumer protection campaign, and some of their new regulations are starting to trickle into the US, and throughout the world.

Privacy Policy

Every website should have a privacy policy, that covers what data you collect and how that data will be used.  Luckily, generating this policy is easy, and several organizations offer templates to get your started.

Templates: Better Business Bureau, FreePrivacyPolicy.com, UpCounsel.com

Make sure to customize the template of your choice, to apply to your own policies.

Terms & Conditions

Similar to a privacy policy, terms and conditions outline the rules of using your website, and what obligations the business owner has to the user.  It is a legal contract between you, the business owner and the website visitor.

Templates & Guides: TermsFeed.com, PandaDoc, TermsandConditionsTemplate.com

Cookies

Cookie placement and usage disclosure is required if you do business in the EU, or have customers that reside in the EU.  However these disclosures are becoming the standard, so it’s wise to pay attention and create your own disclosures.

Links: Cookie Law FAQ, How to Comply, Ultimate Guide to EU Cookie Law

Final Words:

Similar to PCI compliance, there’s no need to fret these new regulations.  Do some homework, and stay ahead of the curve so you don’t find yourself non-compliant with new laws being drafted.