P3P Privacy Policy Editor

Privacy Policies For Websites

How willing are you to buy online?
If you're skeptical, you can't expect your customers to feel any differently. Before they'll transact, customers need to feel safe.

Part of that safe feeling is the knowledge that their privacy is respected, which is why Internet privacy policies are so important. Research shows that consumers are more likely to complete online transactions if they know beforehand how their personal information is going to be used.

In fact, legislation in several Countries and US States now require online businesses to disclose their privacy policies before customers are asked to register any details.

What is a privacy policy?
On the Internet, privacy is not the same thing as security. Technology dictates how information is kept secure over the Net, but all it takes to respect your customers' privacy over the Internet is honesty.

Your online business should have a privacy policy openly accessible from the home page. It should fully disclose the ways you intend to use any personal data you collect from your customers. For example: names, email addresses, consumer preferences, etc.

Internet browsing software has allowed individuals to set their 'privacy preferences' for some time now. These privacy preferences are automatically compared against the privacy policies of visited Web sites. In order to allow this, the Web site needs to have a special 'machine readable' file in place which is read by the browsing software.

Until recently, the absence of this 'machine readable' file meant very little. However, the increasing privacy concerns of Internet surfers has prompted the introduction of new default privacy preferences in Internet browsing software. These new preferences will automatically block parts of a Web site if the special 'machine readable' privacy policy of the Web site is missing.

Internet Explorer will display a small eye with a red bar when some part of a Web site has been blocked due to the absence of a compliant privacy policy.
Internet Explorer Privacy Report

Why have a privacy policy?
Polls show that almost half of all online shoppers are more nervous about how their personal data is being used than they are about the security of their credit card transactions. People who have never bought online are even more scared of privacy violations.

The absence of a 'machine readable' policy on your Web site, may cause parts of your Web site to be automatically blocked by Internet browsing software.

The bottom line: You can increase online sales, boost confidence in your company, and reduce the chances of receiving false customer information if you prominently display a privacy statement on your Web site and include a compliant 'machine readable' privacy policy.

Even if your Web site does not collect any information about your visitors,
the absence of a compliant privacy policy may block access to parts of your Web site.

Online P3P Policy Editor

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