THE IMPORTANCE OF A WEBSITE’S TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND PRIVACY POLICY

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You are in process of creating a website for your business, when the developer asks for your Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy page, a question comes to your mind, do you really need to create a Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy page for your website?

Depending on your website or mobile/desktop app, you’ll need a Privacy Policy agreement and a Terms and Conditions (T&C) agreement. These agreements have to be evidently posted on the website or through the app, to include the word “Privacy” and “Terms of Use” in the title of the agreements.

Each of these two legal agreements serves different purposes for both you (the company operating the website/mobile app) and your users.

WHAT IS TERMS AND CONDITIONS AGREEMENT

A Terms & Conditions (T&C) agreement sets forth terms, conditions, requirements, and clauses relating to the use of your website or mobile/desktop app, e.g. copyright protection, accounts termination in cases of abuses, and so on.  It is also known as a User Agreement or Terms of Service or Terms of Use agreement. It is a legal agreement that sets forth the rules, requirements, and standards of using a website or a mobile/desktop app.

For example, common sections of a T&C include information on copyrights, account deactivation if certain users abuse the website or app, billing and subscriptions, forbidden activities and uses of the website platform, and various disclaimers.

It’s highly recommended to have one as you can prevent abuses happening to your website or mobile/desktop app, and to limit your own liability as the owner of the online business.

Without this kind of agreement in place, and without it being properly enforced, there is no way you can legally limit or control how anyone can use or can’t use your website or app.

Issues of copyright infringement can appear if users make use of your content without your permission, or issues of abuses such as someone spamming other users or posting defamatory content on your website.

A Terms & Conditions agreement lets you include language to forbid such activity, and can also provide a remedy (such as accounts deletion) in the event these abuses do occur.

It’s highly recommended that online business (regardless if they operate just a simple website or a simple mobile app) that allow or require a user to register for an account have this agreement in place and present it to users at the time of their account registration.

Here is what you should keep in mind for a Terms & Conditions agreement:

  • You can create this agreement to include licensing rights, rules and guidelines for your users.
  • Include a section that allows you to terminate user accounts in the event of abuses, or under any circumstances you wish to include.
  • This agreement is where you can maintain control over your website or app, so make sure to include any limitations and restrictions that you want to be able to enforce.

 

WHAT IS PRIVACY POLICY AGREEMENT

A Privacy Policy agreement is required if you collect or use any personal information from your users, e.g. email addresses, first and last names etc. The purpose of this agreement is to inform users about your collection and use of personal data of users.

If your website or app (regardless if it’s a mobile app or a desktop app) collects and uses any kind of personal information from users, you are required by law to have the Privacy Policy agreement and make it available to your users, preferably before they start using your website or app.

Personal information” can include any information that can be used to identify an individual, such as a name, email address, mailing address, birth-date, IP address, etc.

It requires the following to be disclosed by a business:

  • What personal information is collected through the website/app
  • What’s the purpose of collecting this information
  • How the collected information is used by business and/or by any third parties
  • How can user review and make changes to their information

 

Here is what you should keep in mind for Privacy Policy agreement:

  • Create this agreement separately from all other legal agreements.
  • Make sure the agreement is an honest and accurate reflection of what personal information you actually collect and how you actually use that data.
  • Include the word “Privacy” in the name of this agreement and in any links you provide that links to this legal page.
  • Make sure this agreement is it’s own separate agreement, regardless of where you display it: in your website’s footer section, on one of your mobile app’s screens, and so on.

 

Privacy Policies should document your privacy practices. Update it as soon as anything changes, such as if you begin to collect a different type of personal information from your users, or if you begin to allow third parties to access the information when you didn’t in the past.

 

PARUL

SENIOR ASSOCIATE

2 thoughts on “THE IMPORTANCE OF A WEBSITE’S TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND PRIVACY POLICY”

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