There are essentially two categories of information users give as a result of using your website. First, there is the information they voluntarily enter themselves – this would include their email address when they sign up for a newsletter, for example. Second, there is the information that a user sends to you simply by visiting your site, such as their IP address, location, and activity history. Any site owner with the right analytics program in place can track this information and know what kind of people are visiting their site. In fact, they might even know what browser their users are running when visiting their site.
What’s the difference between a site with a sign-up form and a site without one?
The issues are numerous, and each of them could comprise an article of their own. However, it’s still worth listing them:
- Information Collected: It’s important to describe which information is collected from your users.
- How We Use Your Information: This will elaborate on the information collected and describe how it’s used, such as whether or not it is shared.
- How We Protect Your Information: If information is to be protected, users often like to hear exactly how it will be protected.
- Third Party Advertising: This outlines the policy for any third party advertising that takes place and how it relates to the information being collected and used by the site owner.
- User Accessing of Information: This outlines the policy for users changing their own information. This is particularly important for websites that have sign-up forms and memberships – i.e., websites with membership forums, user profiles, and/or subscription plans.
- Opt-Out: Specifically applying to the emails a user receives (it is legally required that you allow users to opt-out of emailings), this section details how many aspects of the membership can simply be opted out of.
- Children’s Policy and Parental Rules: Is the site for minors? If not, that should be stated. If so, the policy of minors using the site should also be stated.