The Importance of Privacy Policies and Website Terms of Use

by | Oct 21, 2022 | Business Sellers & Purchasers, Commercial Clients, Franchisors, Start-Up & Expanding Businesses, Tradie Businesses

How to make sure your clients know their Personal Information is Protected!

In light of the recent Optus data breach, now more than ever, clients want to know that their personal information is secure. Likewise, as a business owner, you want to make sure that users of your website cannot access your client’s personal information. This protection can be achieved with the implementation of a privacy policy and website terms of use.

In this article, we explain key obligations every business owner should be aware of under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the added protections to be gained through website terms of use. We will outline the steps you need to take to meet your legal obligations as a business owner.

1. Why do I need a Privacy Policy?

Not only is a privacy policy required by law, but it is beneficial to both you and your client as it demonstrates that you are trustworthy in handling your client’s personal information. A privacy policy is essentially a legal document usually found on the bottom banner of a website which explains how the website collects and uses personal data. The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) governs privacy policies, and sets out that every business, and website that the business operates is obliged to have a privacy policy. Section 15 of the Act states that all APP entities must comply with Australian privacy principles.

Having a detailed privacy policy on your website ensures that your clients are confident with you obtaining and using their personal information. Privacy policies also give clients peace of mind when dealing with your business.

2. What should I look for in a Privacy Policy?

A detailed privacy policy will outline the procedures for handling personal information. It will also outline that once a client has provided their personal information to your business, they are consenting to your business obtaining and using their personal information. A privacy policy will outline which third parties (if any) will be given a client’s personal information, as well as the contact details of your business. The main information set out in a detailed privacy policy agreement is:

  • Collection of personal information
  • Collection and use of personal information
  • Disclosure of personal information to third parties
  • The client’s rights and ability to control their personal information

Having a detailed privacy policy is essential to the operation of your business and will provide you with protection if ever a client complains about the way their information has been used.

3. What are Website Terms of Use and why do I need them?

Website terms of use are a legal agreement between the website owner and website user. They safeguard the website owner from multiple actions against their privacy, copyright and trademarks.

Website terms of use serve multiple purposes including but not limited to:

  • informing the website user of the intended audience of the website;
  • providing limitation of liability provisions;
  • explaining aspects of intellectual property relating to the business. (It prevents others from stealing your Intellectual property or copying your site design and information);
  • explaining conduct of rules relating to the website. i.e. users cannot use the site to send through unsolicited emails to the business owner; and
  • excluding competitors from using the material on your website for the purposes of competing with the business.

While it is not a legal requirement to have website terms of use, they are an essential part of ensuring the materials on your website are protected from other users.

4. How do I go about putting a Privacy Policy and Website Terms of Use in place?

If you are a business owner and require assistance in drafting these essential legal documents, Rise Legal are experts in this field. Please reach out and we will draft a privacy policy and website terms of use for your business.

Contact Rise Legal today to discuss your Privacy Policy and Website Terms of Use. We offer professional support and excellent service to see you through your company transition.

Helen Kay - Managing Director

Helen Kay

If you require any assistance with your business legals or any other commercial legal issue, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Typical Legal Disclaimer!…

Unfortunately, there is never a ‘one size fits all’ formula to apply. Every situation is unique and it can be tricky to wrap your head around some areas of the law. To ensure you are setting yourself and your business up for success, it is always best to consult a legal professional with expertise in the field.

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