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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mistake #7 of 7: Not implementing and maintaining a website privacy policy.

This is part 7 of a 7 part series highlighting common legal missteps of small businesses.

Mistake #7: Not implementing and maintaining a website privacy policy.


Almost all businesses have an online presence in the form of a website. A privacy policy is your statement to visitors of the website about whether you are gathering their information and what you will do with that information. A privacy policy may also contain important disclaimers that reduce or eliminate your liability for the information on the website. You might think that your website doesn’t gather information and thus it doesn’t need a privacy policy. However, if you track how individuals interact with your company’s website, you are collecting certain information about the visitors.

A privacy policy should be specifically tailored to your business.  In some situations, a few of which are listed below, a privacy policy is required.  In all other situations, it is considered a good business practice as it fosters trust and encourages visitors of your website to do business with you.

A privacy policy is required when:

  • Your website collects personal information from California residents.
  • You process credit card transactions through your website, depending upon the terms of your agreement with your credit card processor.
  • Your website uses Google AdSense advertising.
  • Your website is directed towards children under the age of 13.
  • You are a financial institution and the website is for that institution.
  • You are a healthcare provider and the website is for that healthcare provider.

Moisan Legal P.C. is a boutique law firm focusing on representing entrepreneurs and businesses in a variety of legal issues.   Matthew J. Moisan can be reached at 646.741.5222.


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