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How to Create a Compliant Privacy Policy for WordPress

A privacy policy is one of the essential elements every website, including those powered by WordPress, should have.

All around the world, governments have established various far-reaching laws like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and the USA’s California Online Privacy Protection Act. They aim to require web owners and businesses to be fully transparent about the data they collect and what they plan to do with it.

You may think that these laws may not affect you if you don’t live in those regions, but this is where you’re mistaken as these laws reach far beyond their respective countries. If your website caters to users in those locations, it’s highly likely that these laws also apply to your domain.

To be safe and compliant, dedicate a page on your website for your privacy policy.

Read along to know more about privacy policy and how you can add it to your own WordPress website.

What is a privacy policy?

Privacy policy for WordPress

A privacy policy is a legal document that explains the kind of private and personal information your website may gather from its visitors, how you plan to use their data, and how you plan to keep that information safe and secure.

Some of the private information that most websites collect are names, emails, addresses, phone numbers, and other forms of identification.

As mentioned, your privacy policy should cover a detailed list of how you gather data and how you plan to use that data. Here are some of the most common things you should have in your privacy policy:

A list of the types of information your website collects from its visitors

You should be able to list down all the types of information that you will collect from your website visitors. As mentioned, these include the names, email addresses, and other information that your audience may leave behind when they visit your webpage.

In the case of WordPress, there are several ways in which it can collect information from its users. These include Google Analytics, contact forms, WordPress comments, and advertisements. All of these collect private information of web users for different purposes.

The purpose of the data collection

You should also let your visitors know the reason you’re collecting their private information. For example, Google Analytics collects personal information like user IDs, IP addresses, and cookies to profile the behavior of website visitors.

Similarly, Google AdSense collects cookies for your audience’s behavioral information so that they can share it with their advertising partners for better targeting.

As long as you collect their information for whatever valid purpose, you must explain why you collect it to promote fairness, transparency, and respect for their privacy.

Storage, access, and security of private information

Since you’re collecting private information from your website visitors, you should make sure that the way you store their data is safe, secure, and can only be accessed by the necessary individuals.

Don’t forget that what you’re dealing with might be sensitive information. Your audiences’ full names, birthdays, and addresses may open gateways to even more private accounts like banks, work or school information, and the like.

You should do everything you can to make sure that their data remains secure. Finally, you should also let your audience know exactly how you plan to take care of their data.

Affiliated third-party websites or organizations

You should also disclose any third-party websites or organizations you are affiliated with, for example, Amazon Associates. That way, the individuals visiting your website will know who else may have access to their private information once they consent to your privacy policy.

Cookies

Cookies are messages that web servers provide to web browsers to identify users and serve a customized web page for an easier browsing experience. Some websites include the cookie policy in their privacy policy but it's a good idea to have it on a separate page to avoid confusion.

As a website owner, you should make sure that you inform your users about your cookie policy so they’d know that their behavior is being profiled and recorded for a more effective and easy experience on the website or other purposes.

Expert tip: Take the hassle of writing your own privacy policy away with our privacy policy generator. It will save you hours of work and possible costly legal mistakes.

Why you need a privacy policy in your WordPress website

Now that you know what a privacy policy is, it’s essential to know why you need to add it to your WordPress website.

Here are some of the most important reasons you need to place a privacy policy on your page:

You are required by law to do so by law

Essentially, you need to place your own privacy policy in your WordPress site because you’re required by local and international laws to do so.

Regardless of where you live, it’s highly likely that your local government already set up a data privacy act. It’s to ensure that local websites are not exploiting the private information of its users.

However, apart from local laws, there are far-reaching laws like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and the USA’s California Online Privacy Protection Act that cover even website owners from different countries.

They require that you meet certain criteria in connection with the collection of sensitive private information of their citizens.

For instance, even if you live in Singapore and host your website there, as long as your audience includes people from the European Union or California, you are bound by the data privacy laws that govern their land.

Non-compliance with such laws can be costly. For the General Data Protection Regulation, violators may be fined with up to 4% of the company’s annual turnover in the preceding year or 20 million Euros, whichever is higher.

For the California Online Privacy Protection Act, you can be fined thousands of dollars per violation. In other words, it could multiply depend on how many Californian site visitors you have.

To prevent paying such hefty fines, it’s better to just comply with their guidelines, especially in putting up a privacy policy in your WordPress site.

Most third-party services you may use on your website will require you to have a privacy policy

If you’re serious about your WordPress website and want it to eventually grow, you will need third-party applications and websites to enhance your data gathering and analytics.

For example, Google AdWords allows businesses and marketing teams to advertise in Google’s network. This network includes search and display, among others. Before an advertiser could put in an advertisement on your website, AdWords requires that you have a privacy policy that lists down all important details. That includes the access of third-party apps like AdWords on their data.

Additionally, Google AdSense, which allows publishers and website owners to reserve space for AdWords placements on their websites (including WordPress), requires the site to have its own privacy policy. Meanwhile, Google Analytics lets web owners and managers see the activities and trends in their website and compels the site to have an already-existing privacy policy.

All of these third-party applications can make your WordPress site function better and make it a possibly profitable platform. Having a privacy policy is necessary if you want to continue building your community on your WordPress site.

It shows that you care about your users' privacy and data security

Regardless of how incredible your website is, it wouldn’t do you any good if you have no constant stream of visitors coming in and out daily. Users are more conscious of their data and privacy. They would rather go to alternative websites than have their data compromised.

With the help of a privacy policy, you can establish trust between you and your users. You can let them see what type of data you’re getting from them, how you plan to use it, and how you are going to make sure that it remains secure. It lets them know that you care about them.

Create your own privacy policy in WordPress

Previously, you could only make a privacy policy in WordPress manually by writing it yourself or hiring someone to write it for you. These days, it’s much easier since WordPress now comes with a sample privacy policy in place.

While it's definitely helpful for beginners who have no clue where to start, it shouldn't be used for anything other than a very simple blog or "about me" type of website. It's just too simplistic and doesn't cover many of the important topics you would want to have.

For anyone who is even remotely serious about their website, you need to stay away from the default privacy policy.

The solution? Use our online privacy policy generator to craft a policy custom-tailored to your needs in minutes. You'll save yourself a lot of time and money. Our premium policies even come with free lifetime updates so you'll never have to worry about it again when laws and regulations change.

How to add privacy policy in WordPress

Here are the steps to making your own privacy policy page in WordPress:

1. Go to Settings and select Privacy from the WordPress administration panel.

Create privacy policy in WordPress

2. Generate your privacy policy by clicking Create New Page. Alternatively, you can select an existing page and click Use This Page.

3. If you clicked on Create New Page, you would see a privacy policy template. Modify the generic content and make sure that it fits your website and your data privacy plan.

Edit privacy policy in WordPress

4. Once you’re done with editing the privacy policy, you may click on Publish to make the page live.

Note: Your WordPress privacy policy will be displayed on your registration and log-in pages. You’ll also be able to see it in a bottom link on your website titled Privacy Policy. Make sure that your audience can see the bottom link to the privacy policy regardless of the page.

Final words

By now, you should have an idea of just how imperative a privacy policy is to a website. If you run a WordPress blog or any other website, and you are interested in growing your audience, it is necessary for you to comply with the requirement of creating your own privacy policy.

So don't wait until it's too late and you get fined for non-compliance or experience services interruptions with any of the third-party services providers you may be using. Create it today and avoid all of the unwanted issues.