Does My Author Website Need a Privacy Policy?

Filed in Author Websites — July 10, 2024

If you’re an author and you have a website, yes, it probably does need a privacy policy.

Before we go any further:

Please note that privacy policies are legal documents, and I am not an attorney. This article should not be considered legal advice or a substitute for professional legal consultation.

What is a privacy policy?

A privacy policy is a statement that explains how a website collects, uses, stores, and protects users’ personal information.

Who needs a privacy policy?

If your author website has:

  • A newsletter form
  • A contact form
  • Affiliate links (ie, your Amazon links)
  • A shop
  • Social media integration
  • Downloadable content
  • Ad integration (if you run Meta or Google ads)

Then yeah. You collect user information, and you need a privacy policy. And those are just the most common elements related to author websites; not a complete list.

How do I get a privacy policy?

I’ve had clients give me privacy policy text they found for free via Google. I have no idea if a free privacy policy covers the legal bases or not, but to me, this feels akin to picking up a parachute you found on the side of the road and then jumping out of a plane with it. If it has holes, you’re not going to know until it’s too late.

I purchased the below privacy policy from a legal boutique (yep, that’s a thing). 

It comes bundled with Terms & Conditions, because, hey, guess what! You probably need that too! 

It’s not cheap, but then neither is the potential $50,000 if you’re found being non-compliant with privacy law. Recommended reading.

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