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The beginning of July marked a few things for my business this year; one of which was taking the Canada Day holiday to finally getting around to updating my website’s privacy policy to be GDPR compliant.

Free Resources to help you update your Privacy Policy in a post GDPR world!

If you only recently found out about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) from the hundreds of emails that landed in your inbox over the last month, don’t worry. This is a perfect opportunity to review your privacy policy.

If you still aren’t sure what GDPR is or how it affects your business, the best resource I’ve found for keeping calm and getting back to business is this podcast by Amy Porterfield. She helps break it down to what you need to know to keep your bidness safe and sound.

Like most busy freelancers, when it comes to updates to my website I try to find the most efficient way to update it—without cutting corners, if possible. So when it came to updating my privacy policy, I looked for a policy generator to help me get started. I am a firm believer of ‘you get what you pay for’ so if you’re looking to use free sites, be ready to copy and paste from a number of them to get the most coverage for your business. (Or hire a lawyer, I’m pretty sure as a non-lawyer, I need to say this a few times that you should consider hiring one for this part of your site. Especially if you’re dealing with people in the EU.)

If you’re not dealing with people in the EU and you aren’t in the position to hire a lawyer, make sure to take a look at other websites in your industry; your largest competitors will probably have had a lawyer on board to write their policy so this gives you a good idea on what you’ll need in yours. Disclaimer: Do not copy and paste someone else’s policy onto your page. That’s just bad manners.

Of the extensive list of free policy generators that I tried out, the following sites were the top sites that ended up producing the policies that I mashed together to create the privacy policy for my own website which you can read here: Privacy Policy 

Free Privacy Policy Generator

Yea, so this website looks sort of like a seedy 90’s spam website, so I actually bounced away from it during my initial research. It was only through recommendations from a number of reputable sites that I tried it out.

It ended up having quite a list of custom options available for the free policy as well as having more in-depth coverage for the paid version. What I liked most about this site is that it had a flat-rate single-payment version instead of charging monthly or having an upgrade price for every single feature you could want.

www.freeprivacypolicy.com

Shopify Privacy Policy Generator

This is an ultra-generic privacy policy generator. I’m only adding it to this list because I used it as my initial privacy policy base.

It doesn’t really allow you to customize the way you’d want to cover yourself for data collection, so it’s important to note that this one is NOT GDPR compliant from what I can tell. (I could be wrong, let me know in the comments if I am!)

If you have a very basic website or a non-lead-generating platform of some sort, this is a neat easy-to-use generator. Sidenote: You don’t have to sign up for a free 14-day trial to use it either.

https://www.shopify.com/tools/policy-generator

 

Privacy Policy Online (My Fave, right here.)

This was one of my favourite privacy policy generators. While it did not include as many customized fields as some of the other generators, it creates a Privacy Policy with non-legal-speak that’s easy to understand.

The most important part of a contract like this is making sure both parties understand everything being said in the policy. So props to this site for making their Privacy policy readable; I used a lot of language from this policy generator, supplementing my existing policy with copy/pasted verbiage from this one.

Having an easy-to-understand policy will help cover your business because there won’t be anyone saying “I didn’t understand so I couldn’t have agreed to this.” if things go terribly wrong.

http://www.privacypolicyonline.com/

 

GetTerms.io

GetTerms was a nifty website for having a straightforward privacy policy and terms and conditions. I think all of the posts out there about privacy policies make it easy to forget that you also need to have a “terms and agreements” on your website. You know, to set the conditions for people browsing your site.

The thing that I like the most about GetTerms was that it offered you a straightforward privacy policy AND terms and conditions that could be applied as two separate pages on your website.

One thing to keep in mind is that your privacy policy should link to your terms and conditions because the terms and conditions are there to support the statements in your privacy policy.

Make sure to take an extra moment to make sure that your information is up-to-date on your terms and agreements page if you already have one.

GetTerms.io

In conclusion…

What I ended up doing, in the end, was using a policy generated by freeprivacygenerator.com and subsidizing missing information by pulling it from a number of other free generators to create my privacy policy. I then looked at several other websites in the same industry to make sure that there wasn’t any missing information caused by using free generators instead of buying a policy online.

Since I’m not a lawyer and every business is different, you will have to decide on what is best for your company. If you are not comfortable with the legal side of owning a business the best thing you can do (in my humble, non-lawyer opinion) is to create your privacy policy template in advance, and then hire a lawyer for an hour or two to make sure that it is right for your business.

If your local to Halifax check out this Legal Essentials Workshop on September 14th to make sure that you have the best policy is to protect your business. Check it out on Eventbrite here! (Not an affiliate link, just an awesome person in Halifax.)

Is there a policy generator that I missed? Leave a comment below so I can check it out and add it to this list.