If you’re reading this, it means you’re considering starting a blog or already started one. Congratulations! Blogging is a great way to share your thoughts, connect with like-minded people, and build an online audience.
As a blogger, you’re probably obsessed with researching, writing, and creating the best possible content for your readers. On the flip side, you may be less excited about the technical details of running a blog, not to mention any potential legal implications.
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- Helps build trust with your readers: Nobody likes to be left in the dark. Your blog visitors will appreciate having a clear understanding of what data you will be collecting and how it will be used. If they know that you respect their privacy, they will be more likely to keep coming back to your blog and feel safe doing so.
Considering the global nature of the Internet and the chances that your readers could be located anywhere across the globe, this is something that you must take into consideration.
This includes collecting email addresses for your email list, having a newsletter “subscribe” feature, or using third-party services that collect data.
There are a few privacy laws that may affect your blog depending on where you reside and where your target audiences are coming from.
If your blog attracts (or could attract) readers located in the European Economic Area, then you may need to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the strictest privacy regulation in the world at this time.
The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is another privacy law that applies to blogs that collect personal information from Canadian residents. You need to follow the same standard privacy rules by disclosing to your site’s visitors why you collect their personal data and how you are planning to use and protect it.
If your blog collects personal information from users residing in California, which is highly likely even if you are located abroad, you will have to take into consideration the requirements of the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA).
Similar to the GDPR, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) gives your readers the right to know what personal data you’re collecting about them and how they can exclude themselves from sharing their data.
Keep in mind that if you live in the United States, you need to be aware of other various state laws similar to CCPA and CalOPPA, such as the Colorado Privacy Act or Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act.
- Google Analytics
- Google Adsense
- Facebook Pages
- Amazon Associates
- Social sharing platforms (aka Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc)
Why? It’s because it creates a transparent manner in which you provide them with all the information regarding your blog’s flow of private information and how it works.
Types of Information You Collect
This is a mandatory clause required by privacy-related laws and is a great place to start.
As a blogger, you want to make sure to outline all the types of personal information that your blog gathers such as email addresses, names, IP addresses, comments, and any information gathered by any third-party services your blog uses.
How You Collect Information
You need to make sure it’s clearly stated how you are gathering personal information.
This can be either directly such as your blog readers entering their name and email address to subscribe to your blog’s newsletter or indirectly such as collecting IP addresses that your blog visitors don’t explicitly provide.
How and Why You Use Information Collected
You should describe what is being done with each type of information you collect and why you need it.
For example, you may collect names and email addresses to be used for the purpose of sending out a newsletter to your blog readers which may include sales promotions. Make sure you provide a description of how and why the information you collect will be used for your readers and blog visitors.
Your blog visitors may not want to give their information to third-party services besides yourself. It’s necessary that they recognize this possibility in advance.
That way, your blog visitors can decide whether or not to share certain information on your blog before actually beginning to participate in your blog.
Examples of Blog Privacy Policies Done Right
Here are some examples to give you some ideas of what they look like on different types of blogs.
Outside Inc is an active outdoor lifestyle blog that does a great job of outlining the information they collect from its readers either directly, automatically, or through third parties. specific about each type of personal information they collect and how exactly it is collected.
Money Saving Mom
Money Saving Mom is a finance blog that takes protecting its readers’ personal information very seriously by explaining how it will be collected and protected. It further mentioned how it’ll be shared and for what purpose.
Be Clear and Concise
Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Most if not all won’t understand the legal jargon that you’re trying to put out on your blog especially if you’re trying to be sneaky and hide something.
By writing in plain language that anyone can understand, and avoiding legal jargon, you’ll do yourself a big favor and avoid unnecessary headaches down the road.
Include All the Relevant Information
The more your blog readers know and understand what you’re doing with their information the more trust they will have for you.
Learn Which Laws Apply to You
Since the GDPR applies to any organization globally that targets and collects data from EU citizens, it’s a good idea to make sure you are GDPR compliant.
It also has some of the strictest privacy laws in the world. Being GDPR compliant often means you will be compliant with other privacy laws enforced by different countries as well.
Step 2: Answer some questions about your business and how you operate.
Frequently Asked Questions