As technology allows us to communicate with one another from anywhere, at any time, balancing accessibility and privacy becomes more and more difficult.
- Who owns the site? You should disclose your company/individual ownership.
- What information am I collecting? This should detail everything — from IP-address-only all the way through the detailed data form for a user subscription. Again, don’t forget to disclose analytics!
- Who else gets this data? You HAVE to disclose the methods that third parties use to get the data, not just who they are. Don’t forget to mention cookies and other apps that may be installed on the user’s machine.
- Can the viewer refuse to allow data collection? The viewer may want to see what information is collected, block their data, or want assurance that the data is deleted when they leave the site. Depending on where you are, you might legally have to offer some or all of these options.
- How will you notify users of changes?
- What is the effective date of the policy?
5. Do I need a liability disclaimer?
Yes. Having a Limited Liability disclaimer or forming your business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the best way to protect your personal assets if a liability claim and/or lawsuit arises in relation to your website. Check your jurisdiction to see which option is the better choice.
My personal favorite disclaimer comes from the book Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman:
“This product is provided without warranty of any kind as to reliability, accuracy, existence or otherwise or fitness for any particular purpose and the manufacturer specifically does not warrant, guarantee, imply or make any representations as to its merchantability for any particular purpose and furthermore shall have no liability for or responsibility to you or any other person, entity or deity with respect of any loss or damage whatsoever caused by this upgrade, device or object or by any attempts to destroy it by hammering it against a wall or dropping it into a deep well or any other means whatsoever and moreover asserts that you indicate your acceptance of this agreement or any other agreement that may be substituted at any time by coming within five miles of the product or observing it through large telescopes or by any other means because you are such an easily cowed moron who will happily accept arrogant and unilateral conditions on a piece of highly priced garbage that you would not dream of accepting on a bag of dog biscuits and is used solely at your own risk.”