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A Privacy Policy should clearly set out exactly how your business intends to collect personal information, what personal information it collects, and how this information will be used and disclosed, if at all. As this document is usually featured on a business’ website, an online solicitor would be the most appropriate person to speak with to have a Privacy Policy drafted.

Use of personal information

Your Privacy Policy needs to clearly set out how your business will be using personal information which has been collected from your customers and other users of your website. It is important for customers to understand how their personal information will be used and it is important for your business to communicate its intentions. If your Privacy Policy does not explain how personal information will be used, it may not be complying with the Australian Privacy Principles.

Why do businesses collect personal information?

Generally, businesses tend to collect and use the information for the following purposes:

  • Contacting the customer;
  • Communicating with the customer;
  • For internal record keeping;
  • For market research;
  • For business development including website development;
  • For marketing purposes including direct marketing;

o   To run competitions;

o   To send promotional information; and

o   To offer additional benefits.

Disclosure of personal information

As well as how you will use the customer’s personal information, you need to set out how this personal information will be disclosed.

This generally includes:

  • For the purpose of providing your products and/or services to the customer;
  • To enable third party service providers to assist you in providing products and/or services;
  • To credit reporting agencies where the customer fails to pay;
  • To courts, tribunals and other authorities as required by law; and
  • To third parties to provide direct marketing.

Conclusion

It is essential that your Privacy Policy address not only how personal information is collected, but also how your business will use the personal information. This is necessary to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act. If you are running an online business, we also recommend that you have a set of Website Terms of Use and Sales Terms and Conditions in addition to the Privacy Policy to provide greater protection for your business. If you have any questions relating to the Privacy Policy or any other legal documents your business requires, contact a LegalVision online solicitor today!

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