Its your responsibility
As a website owner or operator in the UK, you are required to comply with certain policies and regulations to protect the privacy and rights of your users. Here are some of the essential policies you should have on your website:
- Terms and Conditions: The terms and conditions set out the rules for using your website and the rights and responsibilities of the website owner and users. It should include important details such as intellectual property rights, disclaimers, and liability limitations.
- Accessibility Statement: An accessibility statement explains how your website is designed to be accessible to users with disabilities. It should outline the features and tools you have in place to make your website more accessible, and how users can contact you for help.
- GDPR Compliance: If your website is accessible to users in the European Union, you must comply with the GDPR regulations. This includes obtaining user consent, providing access to their data, and ensuring their data is processed securely.
- Copyright Policy: A copyright policy outlines how you deal with copyright infringement on your website. It should provide clear instructions on how to report infringement, and the consequences of violating copyright laws.
Having these policies and compliance measures in place can help protect your website users and your business.
When a website is being developed unfortunately one of the last elements to be considered are the companies website policies. However the following are all required to be shown if a company is to be compliant.
Acceptable Use Policy – Governs the behaviour of the person using the site
- This is most relevant where interactive services are provided within the site
- unauthorised reproduction of materials (text / images / video etc)
- unacceptable user behaviour e.g. hacking or creating viruses etc
- Allows – the website owner to remove offending material (i.e. perhaps you allow visitors to comment on posts etc) or suspend a users right to access the site
- For any breach of standards there should be contractual remedies in place
2 key considerations
- Why you are collecting any data
- That the data you are collecting will be stored and processed legally and fairly
- Policy should inform users on how data will be collected, stored and used
- Allows controller to obtain an individuals implied consent to processing activities. So explicit consent is needed for sensitive data such as racial information
Covers what the website is for and if there are any costs involved
- Details the fees payable for access to the website (if there are any)
- In light of web based security issues they will probably cover the prevention of unauthorised use / disclosure of passwords
Website Policies Required For Compliance
On Line Data Protection Key Principles
The Key Thrust To Data protection
1: Tell people what you are going to do with their data before you gather it
2: Within your organisation you need to identify who is the Data Controller
3: If you are capturing and storing names, emails etc you need to have a Data Protection Licence
Data Protection Key Principles
- Personal data includes
- Telephone numbers
- Processing includes
- How the data is obtained
- The approach / techniques used to record the data
- How the data is retained / held within the organisation
- How the data will be used
- Disclosing and erasing of the data
- Data subject: This is the individual about whom personal data is processed
- Any data obtained must be processed fairly and lawfully
- An organisation needs to identify who is assigned to be the Data Controller
- The data controller equals the person who determines the purpose for which and the manner for which personal data is to be processed
- The data controller to notify the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) before processing and failure to notify is a criminal offence. There is a wealth of information on the ICO website
Data Protection Make Sure You Stay Legal
- If you have a website and on that website you have a contact us enquiry form box in which a person adds their personal details and submits a request you need to have a data protection licence.
- If you have been collecting business cards from an exhibition, trade event, networking event etc and are building a database of prospects even if it is a simple spreadsheet you need to comply with data protection.
- If you have purchased (or acquired) a list of prospective customers that you have now stored on your customer relationship management system (Workbooks, Salesforce, Act etc) you need to comply with data protection
- If you have a website which has a data capture form whereby information is fed directly into a Mailchimp list – you need to make sure you comply with data protection.
Terms & Conditions ( Terms of Service)
Here are a few reasons why having terms and conditions is important:
- Legal protection: Terms and conditions can help protect your rights as a website owner and clarify the expectations and limitations for users. They can establish the rules for using the website and protect your intellectual property rights, such as copyrights or trademarks.
- User agreement: By accessing or using the website, users agree to be bound by the terms and conditions. This agreement can help you enforce certain policies or restrictions, such as prohibiting unauthorized use, content sharing, or abusive behavior.
- Dispute resolution: Terms and conditions can include provisions for dispute resolution, such as specifying the jurisdiction or method of resolving legal conflicts. This can help protect your interests and provide guidelines for addressing any potential disputes that may arise.
- Liability limitations: Including disclaimers and liability limitations in your terms and conditions can help protect you from certain legal claims and reduce potential liability for the content or services provided on your website.
While it is advisable to consult with a legal professional to ensure that your terms and conditions comply with relevant laws and regulations in your jurisdiction, having them in place can provide legal protection and set clear expectations for users interacting with your website.