Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project
Privacy Policies Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY

See FTC Enforcement of Privacy Policies.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, Online Privacy Policies should disclose the following:

See Fair Information Practices

The FTC has developed four criteria for effective privacy programs:

Privacy policies should be clear and free of contradictory or ambiguous language. When changes are made to policies, notice should be provided to individuals from whom the sites have collected material information, and affirmative opportunity to consent or opt out might be required. [Privacy Online 2000 p. 26]

Better policies are shorter.  They should not be buried in a barrage of legalize, terms and conditions, which of tern are too long and incomprehensible to consumers.  To be effective, privacy policies should build consumer trust.

Privacy Policy Generators can help get you started:

"B. Website Seal Programs.

"Third-party enforcement programs known as “seal programs,” provide another way to monitor company practices and enforce privacy policies. By clicking on the “seals” such as TRUSTe, BBBonline, Webtrust, and on a particular website, a user is immediately linked to the site’s privacy statement. The purpose of the seal programs is to create name and sight recognition for the seals so that consumers will see them and know that they are visiting a site they can trust. Seal programs are designed to provide protection to consumers, by allowing web companies to standardize privacy policies."

- Know the Rules Use the Tools, Privacy in the Digital Age: A Resource for Internet Users, US Senate Judiciary Committee, p. 24 (n.d.)

The FTC also recognizes that enforcement is also a necessary component of any successful privacy program. In self regulation efforts, enforcement may come about contractually where sites participate in privacy seal of approval trust programs and are confronted with potential removal from that program. The government may also have a role where sites post privacy information and fail to comply with those representations, or follow other privacy practices that might otherwise be considered deceptive.

Form of the Privacy Policy:


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