I’m sure you have heard about the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) coming into play May 25th, 2018. These regulations are not necessarily new, but they have been enhanced to have a wider scope and more substantial fines. 

In a nutshell, the point is to protect the people’s right to know what data we are collecting from them on our websites, as well as what we do with that data.

First thing’s first:  this is not legal advice. This blog post is based on our views and interpretation and is made for educational purposes only, to make sure you’re informed about what you might need to do to be GDPR-compliant. If you’re looking for legal counsel, you must consult your attorney.

With that said, let’s get right to it.

GDPR applies to companies that collect personal data on their websites, from people in the EU, regardless of where the company is located.

How GDPR Affects Your Business

Basically, if you have clients in the EU, you must comply with the GDPR. That’s why every software company has been sending you notices about their compliance with GDPR.

You may think you don’t have to worry about it because you don’t have clients in Europe.  However,  in today’s boundless world, a potential European client could find you on the internet, search your site and even fill out a form.

This actually happened to us a while back. An event management company in Germany was organizing an international event in Fort Lauderdale.  They wanted to deal with a local company and located us on the internet. The lady in charge searched our website, filled out a form, and shortly thereafter they placed a nice size order of canvas bags.

Simply put, if you collect, store, manage, or analyze personal data of any type, including email addresses, it’s likely the GDPR affects your business.

Additionally, there are regulations here in the US regarding data collection and other online practices as well.  So, if you have a form on your website for people to submit information requests, you take orders, or you have tools that track visitors on your site; you need to disclose it on your website within your privacy policy – which you should already have.

Most distributor businesses have not paid any attention to having a privacy policy on their website and it’s time they do.

Why You Must Have a Privacy Policy on Your Website

Online safety and privacy are of major concern today. Your site visitors are typically educated business people. They are aware of internet safety and privacy. They’ll want to deal with companies who are compliant and transparent about their policies.

There are laws and regulations concerning website data collection in the US as well. For example, the California Online Privacy Protection Act requires you to have a privacy policy. There is also the Children Online Privacy Protection Act, and the CAN-SPAM Act, which you want to address.

The CalOPPA (California Online Privacy Protection Act ) became effective in 2010. It requires commercial websites and online services to post a privacy policy. Even though it’s a state law, it reaches well beyond California to protect its residents. It requires company websites, who collect data from California residents, to post a conspicuous privacy policy on their website, stating exactly the information being collected and with whom it is being shared

The COPPA (Children Online Privacy Protection Act) is intended to protect children’s privacy and safety online. Even though you are not marketing to minors, you must have disclosures on your website to that effect.

The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email messages and gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them. An explanation of how you handle emails from your subscribers should also be spelled out on your privacy policy.

The Easy Way To Create Your Privacy Policy

There is plenty of information out there about what to include in a privacy policy.  But if you’re wondering where are you going to find the time to put all this together, we have a solution for you.

Here at ACTION, we’ve been researching how the new regulations can affect our business and also our client’s businesses. There is plenty of confusing information as everyone has their opinion based on their own business model, and we wanted to make sure we covered our clients’ properly, in their own circumstances.

So after reviewing and updating each and every one of our client’s privacy policies, we decided to compile a set of templates and the Company Policies Templates Pack was born. The purpose is to make it very easy for promo business owners to create their own policies.

We know, from experience,  that if you have to figure out what to do, you’ll probably end up not doing anything, putting your business at risk.

So we decided to spend the extra time to create these templates to make it real easy for distributors to create their own.

The pack includes 2 documents templates. One, the privacy policy, with all the data collection regulation disclosures required. It also includes terms of use of your website and copyrights disclosures.

The other is an ordering information page template. It explains art requirements, pricing on the website, production time, shipping, and more.  Having this information on your website provides transparency in the way you work. It also positions your professionalism and avoids misunderstandings.   Plus it makes it very easy to include it in your presentations or emails by simply embedding a link.

All you have to do is add your company information, tweak, copy, paste, and post on your website!

For more information, click the Company Policies Templates Pack link.

 

 

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