How is the Internet regulated, anyway?
Thanks to a series of new website privacy laws, updating website policies to ensure that your web page is compliant can be a bit difficult.
Understanding CCPA Compliance Changes
The recent Internet policy changes pertain to the California Consumer Protection Act of 2018. Also known as CCPA, this ruling gives people who are living California much more control over how their personal information is used.
Passed in mid-2018, the first version of the CCPA law was introduced in 2017 on a ballot by a real estate mogul. Since then, the legislature was amended and implemented in less than a week. Not only has this been changed several times, but the Attorney General of California has released rules to clarify the new law too.
This landmark ruling was passed for several reasons. First of all, CCPA was created to help regulate the privacy limitations that come along with the advance of technology. Also, the law in California hasn’t kept up with the number of consumers sharing personal data with companies.
The loss of privacy and distribution of personal information can have a super negative impact on Californians. Also, Californians are demanding more transparency and privacy control regarding the use of their data.
Like GDPR laws, CCPA guidelines give consumers in California the rights to:
- Know what kind of information is being stored about them
- Know if their personal data is being disclosed or sold
- Decline the distribution of their personal data
- Request their personal data to be deleted
- Access their own personal data
- Be treated the same as those don’t exercise their privacy rights
Does this law apply to your business?
Basically, it applies to any “for profit” entity that does business in California and meets one of the following:
- $25 Million in annual gross income,
- Handles for business purposes the personal information for 50K or more California residents annually,
- Or gets 50% plus of its annual revenue from selling personal info of CA consumers.
But before you count yourself lucky to not be in the targeted bracket, note that this law requires proper management of vendors as well. So, if you work with large businesses that are required to comply, you may be required to comply as well. Also if you have clients that are vendors to large companies they may also be held accountable.
Your best best is to make sure that you have proper policies on your site that are up-to-date and properly drafted by a legal professional.
Understanding GDPR Compliance Changes
General Data Protection Regulation laws are another set of Internet compliance guidelines. However, the GDPR compliance rules were made to govern people who live in the European Union.
Simply stated, GDPR privacy laws were formulated to give people the right to control their personal information. But here’s the thing. Even though they’re supposed to protect European citizens, these laws impact the way that the whole world interacts online.
If you haven’t heard of this law yet, you’re not alone. Implemented in the spring of 2018, there are still a lot of questions about how GDPR works. Nonetheless, neglecting to understand this ruling could result in a pretty expensive fine.
The General Data Protection Regulation laws were first passed in April 2016 by the official European Commission branch. These were meant to protect the rights of every European citizen, including their digital information. Replacing a series of older, more archaic laws, the GDPR is the biggest data privacy regulation change in two decades.
For those of you who have a hard time understanding legal terms, the word “controller” applies to the means and purposes of using personal data. Also, “processors” are designed to process personal information for controllers. Besides this, “personal data” refers to the information that’s collected to identify someone.
Essentially, GDPR laws are meant to make sure that personal information is:
- Processed transparently, fairly, and lawfully
- Gathered for a legitimate, explicit, and specific purpose
- Relevant, adequate, and only limited to what’s necessary
- Only saved for the shortest amount of time possible
- Processed in a secure way
On top of that, online marketing collectors have to show that they’re compliant with these laws as well.
How can you possibly beat that?
How to Make Your Website Compliant
Between search engine optimization and privacy policies, business owners have a lot of rules and regulations to deal with. Luckily, we’re here to make your life easier by doing all the hard work for you.
If so, make sure that you update it with more info on what, why, and how personal data is collected and processed. It’s also helpful to let visitors know how they can erase, change, or request access to the information that your site has gathered.
Here’s another word of advice. Try adding a verification method to make sure that the correct person is gaining the correct information. Plus, adding a “do not sell my personal information” link at the bottom of your page is a smart idea too.
Lastly, make sure that you receive consent from minors before you sell their data. If they’re younger than 13 years old, ask their parents instead.
Do yourself a favor and double-check your plug-ins to see if they’re compliant with the new GDPR ruling. You can also reduce the amount of info that you store and collect in online forms.
Admit it: it might be difficult to resist collecting unnecessary personal information. However, limit yourself to the data that you need.
Last but not least, take another look at your emailing subscription list.
We highly recommend that you allow users to “double opt-in” after they give you their email addresses. That means that you’ll send another confirmation link that they’ll have to click to finish subscribing!
Best Tools for Website Compliance
If you’re looking for the best compliance tools, then you come to the right place. Check out some of our favorites below:
If you’ve never heard of Termageddon, allow us to enlighten you. For the uninitiated, Termageddon is a policy generator for apps and websites. The best part is that Termageddon updates your site’s policies whenever the law is changed, automatically.
That way, your business will be protected 24/7, giving you more time to manage your company the way that you want to.
In addition, Termageddon was started by a couple who are hands on and have the expertise that you can rely on. Donata is the President and the engineer behind the policies and she is an experienced and certified information privacy professional. Hans is the Vice-President and in charge of sales and marketing and his background is in owning a successful Web Design Agency. Their customer support is second to none and their policies are what Alignment Online Marketing uses on our websites.
But here’s the catch – this helpful service is limited to businesses that are located in the United States.
Is your company headquartered in America?
In that case, Termageddon can help you to prevent lawsuits and limit corporate liability too. It can make sure that your site’s visitors are legit, protecting your business’ intellectual property rights in the process.
Do you have an international company headquarters?
If yes, then we suggest investing in WebsitePolicies instead. They provide customized legal documents in seconds, keeping your business and yourself safe at all times. Besides, they’ll help you to make sure that your site is compliant, avoiding hefty lawsuits and the fines that come along with it.
All that you have to do is select the online platform of your choice. Then, describe what sort of legal contract that your site needs. Once the step is done, fill out a survey to detail your company and how it’s operated.
Finally, you can view, publish, and download your custom legal document instantly. That’s not all. With WebsitePolicies, you’ll:
- Save a bunch of money on court fees
- Host or copy legal documents
- Receive auto-updates on laws
- Gain global regulation coverage
As if that’s not enough, WebsitePolicies is CCPA, GDPR, and Federal Trade Commission-compliant too.
Sounds super convenient to us!
Of course, you’ll want to let your consumers know if their personal data is being disclosed or sold as well. Otherwise, you’ll put yourself and your business at risk of being non-compliant with state and local governments.
Nobody wants that, right?
By adding another layer of protection, you’re sure to create more credibility, trust, and respect with your clientele.
Keep in mind that more and more US states and countries around the world will be implementing their own laws about internet privacy, so the most cost-effective and efficient way to ensure that you are compliant is by using a professional service.
If you sign up with Termageddon use the Promo Code ALIGNMENT for 10% off your first payment (if you sign up on the annual subscription that’s 10% off for the whole year!)
On the hunt for online marketing help?
Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free strategy session!