Many countries have enacted information privacy laws that you are required to follow if you collect information about your users. Likely, your website or mobile app collects, at the very least, the names and email addresses of your users. Often online services ask for more information such as phone number, residential address, location, financial details, etc.
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In 1968, the Council of Europe began to study the effects of technology on human rights, recognizing the new threats posed by computer technology that could link and transmit in ways not widely available before. In 1969 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) began to examine the implications of personal information leaving the country.
All this led the council to recommend that policy be developed to protect personal data held by both the private and public sectors, leading to Convention 108. In 1981, the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (Convention 108) was introduced. One of the first privacy laws ever enacted was the Swedish Data Act in 1973, followed by the West German Data Protection Act in 1977 and the French Law on Informatics, Data Banks and Freedoms in 1978.
Several congressional study groups in the late 1960s examined the growing ease with which automated personal information could be gathered and matched with other information. One such group was an advisory committee of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which in 1973 drafted a code of principles called the Fair Information Practices. The work of the advisory committee led to the Privacy Act in 1974. The United States signed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development guidelines in 1980.
In Canada, a Privacy Commissioner of Canada was established under the Canadian Human Rights Act in 1977. In 1982, the appointment of a Privacy Commissioner was part of the new Privacy Act. Canada signed the OECD guidelines in 1984.
Personal information about an individual may include the following:
- Phone number
- Marital status
- Religious beliefs
Around the world, laws and regulations have been developed for the protection of data related to government, education, health, children, consumers, financial institutions, etc.
This data is critical to the person it belongs to. Data privacy and security binds individuals and industries together and runs complex systems in our society. From credit card numbers and social security numbers to email addresses and phone numbers, our sensitive, personally identifiable information is important. This sort of information in unreliable hands can potentially have far-reaching consequences.
Here are some of the main reasons:
- Required by the law
- Required by third party services
- Increases Transparency
Let’s take a look at each of these reasons in more depth.
For individuals to feel comfortable sharing their personal information on the internet, there should be some sort of legal responsibility on businesses to protect that data and keep the users informed about the status and health of their information.
A majority of countries have already enacted laws to protect their users’ data security and privacy. These laws require businesses to obtain explicit consent from users whose data they will store or process.
A few of these laws include the following:
For a business or a website that collects and processes user information in a certain region or country, it is very important to have complete knowledge of the data and privacy protection laws enforced in that region and the region your customers and end users are in. Non-compliance with these laws can result in hefty fines or even prosecution against the violator.
In some cases, businesses have to follow laws specific to states or regulations specific to industries.
Whether your website is a self-help blog or a game hosted at Google Play, it is your responsibility to give your end users complete information about how any associated third-parties will collect and process their data and (if possible) to what purpose.
- Amazon Affiliates
- Google Play Store
- Google Analytics
- Google AdSense
- Google AdWords
- Facebook Apps
- Twitter Lead Generation
- Apple’s App Store
Third-party vendors like Google, Facebook, and Amazon require their users (website and app owners) to explicitly inform their users if they’re using advertising features, cookies, or tracking services on their websites/apps in order to deliver better user experiences based on prior browsing behavior.
The first of the 8 questions is “What is your website domain name”? Kindly provide the answer in the space below it and hit the next button.
After you hit the next button above you’ll be taken to the second page. The question on the second page is “What is your company name? ” Here, use your official company name. If you don’t have a registered company name yet, just use your website name, App Name, Blog Name, Brand Name, Product or service instead. Don’t forget to hit the next button when done!
The next page is to comes with the question “In which country do you store and process user personal data?” Here, you to Specify the country where your servers are physically located. Just put in the country in which your server is located and hit the next button.
The next page asks whether you accept payments on site or app. Choose “Yes” if you do otherwise select “No” and hit the next button to continue with the process.
On the next page, choose “Yes” if you show ads on the site or app, otherwise select “No” and hit the next button to proceed.
Determine if required by law or by a government agency, you will disclose the personal information of users to law enforcement agents? choose “Yes” if you will, otherwise select “No” to decline, hit next to continue.
If you ask your users for location information, Select “Yes” otherwise, select “No” , hit the next button to continue.
Another popular location for eCommerce store apps and websites is the checkout page, or account registration page if you don’t have an eCommerce component but allow users to create accounts.
- What information is collected and how
- How is the information used
- How is the information stored and protected
- Company contact information
- How a user can opt out of data collection/usage
Here’s each one in action.
What Information is Collected and How
How the Information is Used
How the Information is Stored and Protected
Company Contact Information
In any case, website owners are required to inform their users about the tools the company uses to collect user information and track their behavior, including cookies.
Most websites and app owners use log files to automatically collect and store information about their users’ IP address, browser, data/time, etc. and use it for different purposes.
Opt-Out Policy Clause
Apps and websites should inform their customers about their right to opt-out of certain aspects or services offered by a website.