Website Privacy Policies – Why Your Blog Needs One Today
The type of information a website visitor leaves includes not only obvious things that a visitor might enter, such as email addresses or contact details, but also things which might not be so obvious to the casual user. Things like whether the website (or advertising on that website) will leave cookies to monitor visitors’ online activities, and if their IP addresses are tracked.
Sometimes the website owner doesn’t even need to do anything for this information to be collected. For example, if you are using WordPress for your blog then it will automatically record the IP address and email address of anyone leaving a comment.
So Why Do We Need Them?
So far we have seen 2 reasons to have a proper privacy disclosure document – firstly to educate visitors and secondly to protect the owner. The third reason is crucial for anyone who runs advertising on their blogs.
A lot of the major ad networks will collect information about your website visitors and leave cookies on their computers in order to track their behaviour. Some ad networks, such as Google AdSense, require that a website running their ads must notify users of a number of privacy related issues.
For example, the Google AdSense Terms and Conditions require that websites to have a privacy notice which:
- discloses that third parties may be placing and reading cookies on users’ browser, or using web beacons to collect information, in the course of ads being served on the website; and
- includes information about user options for cookie management.
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