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What is a privacy policy?

A privacy policy is used by businesses to explain how they store, use and update the personal information of visitors and customers. Like terms and conditions, and disclaimers, privacy policies should be easy to understand and easily accessible on a business website.

Do small businesses need a privacy policy?

As a small business owner, you may not be aware that Australia’s privacy regulations are some of the strictest in the world.

Privacy legislation now requires all Australian businesses with an annual turnover of $3 million or more to have a privacy policy on their website.

The privacy policy should state how the business sources information about browsing activity (via cookies), and it must also state how the business uses or stores – among other things – physical and email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers, health information, medical histories and fitness levels.

The business must also declare they won’t share, rent or sell email addresses, and that the business will process ‘unsubscribe’ or information change requests.

If your business has an annual turnover of $3 million or less, and you meet certain criteria, you may be required to have a privacy policy.

However, even if you are not required to have a privacy policy, it’s essential for every business that collects personal information to have a privacy policy so that customers understand the type of personal information you are collecting, and how you intend to use and disclose that information.

Can I use a generic policy?

Fines apply if you fail to comply with the law.

Since Australian Consumer and Privacy Law is continually changing, especially within the online commerce landscape, we do not recommend using a generic privacy policy template. At Lawbase, we can customise a comprehensive privacy policy to suit your unique business needs, so get in touch today.

You can learn more about privacy policies here.

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