By James Forrest
Let’s start with Terms and Conditions. While never legally required, having a page on your site outlining its terms and conditions of use is almost always a great idea. It’s your site, after all, so you want to establish the rules of site engagement, rather than having a court do so. Terms and conditions pages are especially important when you are transacting business of any kind directly from the site. These pages can limit your liability, as well as protect your rights to the content contained throughout your website. Most importantly, these pages serve as a guide for users on how to properly use the site, and they also appropriately manage expectations of those users with regard to the site’s performance.
Privacy policies can protect your business in one of the areas most sensitive to liability concerns—the collection of user data. Now, more than ever, even those companies that don’t sell services or products directly from their sites are still gathering user data, so that they can keep marketing to their prospects and eventually create sales. Thus, for many businesses, user data has become a type of currency, and a currency of very high value as it creates a virtual pipeline to drive future sales.
Ultimately, working with your business attorney to craft appropriate privacy policies, as well as terms and conditions for your website, accomplishes a two-fold mission: managing your risk in the online marketplace and, just as important, assisting your prospective customers in doing business with you.