How to Write a Good Privacy Policy

A privacy policy is a written statement posted on a website that explains what information is collected from a user, and how that information is used. Most e-commerce websites contain a privacy policy. It should be written clearly so that it is easy to understand. Once a privacy policy is stated, the company must abide by it and can not change it unless they have the consent of their customers.

Elements in a Privacy Policy Should Include

  • What information is collected
  • Who is collecting that information
  • How the collected information is going to be used
  • If the information is going to be shared with anyone else
  • What choices the customer has about the use and distribution of that information
  • How a customer can edit or correct the collected information

More Specific

  • Company contact information should be listed, including the name, address, phone numbers, emails, and the privacy policy effective date
  • If the server automatically collects the customers email address or domain name
  • If the webmaster collects information such as:
    • email address
    • the URL that you came from to get to the web page
    • email addresses of email received
    • email addresses of message board posters or chat room posters
    • chat room conversation logs
    • pages visited information and if general or user specific
    • information that a visitor voluntarily input
    • payment information like name, billing and shipping address, phone, email address, credit card number, and expiration date
    • product transaction information such as dates of purchase, cost, quantity, and description of items purchased
  • Why the information was collected
    • used to improve the content
    • for internal review
    • used to notify visitors about updates
    • used by you to contact customers for marketing
    • shared with third-parties so they can use it for marketing
    • not shared with anyone for any purpose
    • disclosed when legally required when subpoenaed
    • disclosed when legally required without being subpoenaed
    • to protect against misuse of site
    • to a successor in event of ownership change
  • The length of time the information is kept for
  • Whether cookies are set on a visitors computer and for what purpose
  • Opt-in or opt-out instructions from email list (opt-in is better)
  • If affiliated ad servers collect information
  • If a web beacon is used (small one pixel gif that can transmit information back to a server or put a cookie on the visitors computer
  • How to correct errors in collected data, and if there is a way to do so
  • If and when visitors are redirected to a secure server

Example of a Simple E-commerce Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Effective Date: December 8, 2007

We respect your privacy! We will not misuse, sell, or exploit any information provided to us. All of your information provided to us is for the express purpose of processing your order. By supplying such information, we will retain only the information needed to complete your order and keep a log for our business transactions. Any information provided to us will not be shared with any other company or 3rd Party.

The information collected is as follows:

  • Name
  • Billing Address
  • Shipping Address
  • Home Phone
  • E-mail

We protect the security of your personal information during transmission by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software, which encrypts (scrambles) information you input.

We value your continued business and will be happy to answer any and all of your questions. You can reach us by phone at 802-555-5555, or via email at

Standard mail:
Street Address

By Stephanie Raccine
Off the Page Creations

Celebrating 20 Years


For your free consultation, Call us Toll Free at 1‑855‑WEB‑GODS (1‑855‑932‑4637) or 813‑818‑0682 (Tampa, FL) or Email Us

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