The Importance of a Privacy Policy

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Privacy Policies can no longer be ignored.  They are likely one of the most important pieces of content on your website.  Actually, if your business has an online anything, you need a Privacy Policy.

It’s so critical, that we now require our clients to include a Privacy Policy in any website development work we perform or they are required to sign an opt-out agreement.  The risk of not having one is simply too great.  We have put together our top three reasons for why you should include a Privacy Policy.

Reason 1: Required by Law

A Privacy Policy is required by law if you collect personal information from users.

Personal information includes email addresses, GPS location, phone numbers, or mailing addresses.  For example, if you have a “Contact Form” or a “Subscribe” form, you are required to have a legal statement available for users to review that discloses the privacy practices of your business.

You can read more about the specific federal and state laws here.  

The CalOPPA Act is especially far-reaching and literally means that if you collect any kind of personal information, even if it’s only an email address, you should have one.

Canada, Australia, and Europe have similar rules in place.  Even if you don’t do business abroad, someone from these locations could enter their details on your site and you would be at risk.

Reason 2: A Privacy Policy is Required by Third Parties

Many third-party services, such as Google AdWords or Google Analytics, are actively requiring you to have published documentation that contains certain information about your use of their services.

For example, Google Analytics includes a Privacy Policy requirement in its “Terms and Conditions”. Their legal agreement states that any business who uses their services must have a Privacy Policy.  This places you at risk of being penalized not only legally, but in search results and more.

The same goes for Google AdWords.  It’s a fantastic re-marketing tool, but it’s collecting information on your site visitors and they need to know this.   

Do you use Twitter’s lead generation card feature?  That’s another example of a third party service that requires you to have a Privacy Policy.

So does Facebook.  According to the Platform Policy of Facebook, a “publicly available and easily accessible privacy policy that explains what data you are collecting and how you will use that data” is required.

Are you selling on Apple’s App Store?  You definitely, absolutely need one. Check out Section 17 of their guidelines.

The list goes on, but even just this short list would impact most small business owners.

Reason 3: Website Visitors Care About Their Privacy

Your audience actually cares a lot about their privacy and how their personal information is being used.  Remember, many website visitors will be first-timers and they haven’t had a chance yet to test whether they can trust you with their information.  

Not only is a Privacy Policy legally required to disclose how you’ll be using your visitors’ data, it is also a way to build trust.  A Privacy Policy can reassure potential customers or clients that they are in good hands.

We would even go as far as having a Privacy Policy even if you don’t collect any user data.  It can confirm to your visitors that you are not collecting data.  While it won’t help with your marketing efforts, businesses can choose to opt out of collecting any information on their digital channels.  If you do choose this option, your visitors will still want confirmation of this policy.

Additional Resources

Hopefully by now you have a good sense of the importance of a Privacy Policy.  We have sourced some supporting articles so that you can learn more, just in case it’s helpful.

Lastly, we recommend making a link to the Privacy Policy visible in your footer navigation.  This is becoming standard practice and makes it easy for your visitors to find.


If you don’t have a Privacy Policy but would like to add one now, let’s connect.  We can not only help you add the page, but we can help you understand what data you are collecting on your visitors and how to use it.




Jenny Green, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-owner of Fisher Green Creative

Jenny Green, Co-Owner of Fisher Green Creative, specializes in digital strategy development, social media marketing, and SEO for small businesses.  Away from helping clients or studying the latest marketing trends, Jenny volunteers her time coaching youth soccer, enjoys a cold craft IPA, and works to save the elephants.  Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn  or email.

Leave a Comment