I am launching a new website, do I need a privacy policy and website terms and conditions?

Ultimately it all depends on what you are doing – an international ecommerce site, or a brochure site for your services business, will have very different requirements.

The following considerations will help you consider what you need:

  • is your website going to be static, or simply provide information (but not advice, or any recommendations), without offering any products or services;
  • is your website going to be for presentation of information, and allow user interaction, such as a contact us form, or posting of comments;
  • is your website going to be offering products or services for sale;
  • is your website going to be offering products or services for sale, and include a shopping cart or other method for customers to purchase those products or services;
  • is your website allowing people to maintain a user profile where your website holds information about them;
  • is your website actually the front end of a SaaS platform, through which you are delivering services to users of the website?

There can be any number of combinations of the above, but the list provides an indication of the lowest requirement to highest requirement for a set of purpose specific terms and conditions and a privacy policy.

The other thing to note is that in Australia, the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) is the primary source of your privacy obligations. The Privacy Act may or may not apply to your circumstances, but if it does, simply having a privacy policy is not sufficient to fulfill your obligations. You will need to understand your obligations under the Privacy Act and take steps to ensure ongoing compliance.

To obtain further information about Small Business’ obligations under the Privacy Act, please see the information provided by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at: http://www.oaic.gov.au/agencies-and-organisations/business-resources/privacy-business-resource-10.

If you have any questions, please give us a call.

Simon Fifield
Focus: technology businesses Likes: disruptive technology and funding growth Profile
Simon Fifield
Posted in FAQ.