Does My Tradie Website Need a Privacy Statement?

The bottom line. You need to protect website visitors

In the wake of the European GDPR, the online world is becoming more concerned about protecting the privacy of visitors who browse a website.

The Australian Information Commissioner regularly reviews the rules on privacy and actively monitors Australian websites. For this reason, if your business operates with a website, you need to make sure you are aware of any issues regarding customer’s and website visitor’s personal information which may be collected.

 What is a privacy policy?

The privacy policy is a legal notice that informs any visitor to your website that you will respect their privacy, keep their personal information secure, and that you will not misuse their email address.

Your privacy policy must comply with the Australian Privacy Act to be effective, which provides guidelines for wording and content. Privacy policies may also be referred to as Privacy Notices or Privacy Statements and are most often linked to in a website’s footer.

Do tradies’ websites need a privacy policy?

The quick answer to this is that every Australian website which collects any customer or website visitor information requires a privacy policy.

So, if your website collects any of the following (even from a basic contact form), it will need a privacy policy:

  • credit card numbers
  • telephone numbers
  • physical addresses
  • email addresses

Why should tradies websites have a policy?

Firstly, Australian law requires you to have one on your website, even if you only collect a simple email address.

Secondly, Google won’t give your site any love in the search engines if your site doesn’t have a privacy policy.

And thirdly, visitors to your site will be more likely to trust you, if you tell them in your privacy policy how you are going to treat their personal information.

What should a privacy policy include?

Privacy policies should include notifications about how your site uses cookies, which are small files placed on your website to collect information about their browsing habits. Cookies will also enable your website to tailor its configuration to a visitor’s preference.

If you use Google Analytics or Google Adsense, then your policy should make mention of them, as these technologies use cookies as part of their function.

If you take payments via PayPal or Stripe, then you may need to inform your visitors about how you treat their credit card details, phone numbers, and addresses. Is the information transferred and kept secure using encryption, and does your processing provider comply with international PCI standards?

It may also be in your best interests to link to the payment processor’s official privacy policy.

Where do I put a privacy policy?

The internet standard has evolved to place links covering legal aspects in the footer of the website. If you maintain this standard, the majority of your visitors will know exactly where to find this information.

Will my privacy policy be legal in other countries?

It’s highly unlikely a tradie’s website will deal with customers from other countries. On the off chance that you do deal with overseas visitors then Australian law lags behind the GDPR in one crucial aspect:  the use of cookies.

In Australia, you are only required to inform your visitors about how you use cookies and how the information is stored. In Europe, the GDPR requires active consent to use cookies, which means visitors will be required to click on a popup to give permission.

Get help for your trade business right here

Here at Tradebusters Academy we are committed to helping tradesmen and builders succeed in business with numerous tips and connections to trusted service providers.

Other useful links:

Website for Tradies

Business Coaches for Tradies

Tradie Bookkeepers

Finance for Tradies

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