OpenCart – Privacy Policy (Do I Need One?)

Many Opencart owners that run online ecommerce shops just avoid the Privacy Policy mostly because they have no idea what it is for or what is supposed to go in it. We see this time and time again and are here to tell you that it is SUPER important to have one. If you are not sure what is supposed to go in it, this article will guide you with a few pointers. Just remember, peoples’ privacy is very important so let’s protect that the best way we can!

Privacy Policy Basics

Having a website (or online) privacy policy is only 1/2 the equation — the second critical element is your organizations commitment to adhering to the statements made in the policy. It is important that all team members have a clear understanding of your organization’s privacy practices and can clearly communicate it to customers and website users.

In terms of what your privacy policy should say is really up to your organization and its individual commitment(s) to privacy. To get 100% accurate answer to this question for your specific situation (and accurate guidance) you really need to consult with an attorney that specializes in laws related to digital and online media.

As a starting point there are some basic guidelines / things to think about that we like to share with our clients when it comes to Website Privacy Policies:

  1.     The biggest topic is collection of personal data. If your site is collecting this type of information you really should be explaining to your users (through your privacy policy) what you intend to do with that data.
  2.     You should be clearly explaining how you collect private data through your website. Does your website utilize cookies or an online account system?
  3.     If your website is an eCommerce website utilizing third-party merchant services there may be requirements your site needs to meet to comply with their terms.
  4.     How do you store the information you collect?
  5.     For what period of time do you hold collected data?
  6.     Who within your organization has access to the data?
  7.     If your website serves an audience (or anyone for that matter) under the age of 13 audience there are specific requirements you must adhere to under Federal Law as set forth by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA)- http://www.ftc.gov/ogc/coppa1.htm

Does your site have any links to third-party websites or organizations (i.e. – is your site displaying Google Adsense Ads? Many times these sites have their own privacy requirements that you need to incorporate in your policy.

  •     If your website is collecting data from users in California, the State of California has created the “California Office of Privacy Protection.” It mandates that:
  •         “If you operate a commercial website that collects personal information on California Residents:
  •             Say what you do: Post a statement of your privacy policy in a conspicuous location on your Web site.
  •             Do what you say: Comply with the terms of your privacy policy.
  •             In your privacy statement, identify the categories of personal information that you collect through the Web site on people who use or visit your site.
  •             In your privacy statement, describe any process you maintain that allows someone to review or ask for changes to any of his or her personal information collected through the Web site.

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Joe Stenhouse

Joe Stenhouse

I am a web application developer that specializes in PHP, JAVASCRIPT, MYSQL, HTML, and CSS. We manifest exciting potentials within the world wide web through means of innovation.

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