Privacy policy terms of use are necessary according to the law if any personal information is used or collected from users. This includes names or email addresses. The reason for this agreement is to let users know about your collection and use of personal data. If your app (desktop or mobile) or website collects and uses any type of personal information from your users, it's required by the law to have your privacy policy agreement available to users. While not required, it's preferred they read this before using the app or website.

What's a Privacy Policy?

Personal information can include any of the following:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Birthdate
  • Mailing address
  • IP address

According to California's Online Privacy Protection Act, companies that collect personal information from users who live in California are required to have this. Due to how widely accessible online businesses are, such as e-commerce stores, California's Online Privacy Protection Act means any app or website that collects personal information from users must have this legal agreement, since it's not feasible to limit a California audience.

It's required that privacy policies state what the purpose of collecting information is, what information is collected through the app or website, how the user can review and make changes to information they put in, and how the information is used by the business or third parties. In the European Union, the Data Protection Directive requires additional protection of privacy rights. Any companies from the European Union or that have users from the European Union that collect data need to have this form of legal agreement.

This agreement should be created separately from other legal agreements. Make sure it's an accurate and honest reflection of what personal data is actually collected and how it's used. The word privacy needs to be included in the title of the document and in any links that go to this page. It can be displayed on the website's footer, on a screen of the mobile app, or elsewhere, but it needs to be its own agreement.

As soon as anything changes, such as collecting different types of personal information, it needs to be updated. The same applies to third parties accessing the information that didn't before. A privacy policy can also be known as a privacy page, privacy statement, privacy information, or privacy notice. The same policy can be used for both a mobile app and website as long as it's adapted to include all platforms the company operates on. Any relevant laws that are applicable to the location of the business or industry should also be included.

What Are Terms and Conditions?

The terms and conditions set forth the conditions, clauses, terms, and requirements related to using the app or website. This legal agreement sets the requirements, rules, and standards of using the website or app. As an example, a section that's common on the terms and conditions section includes account deactivation if a user misuses the app or website, copyright information, billing and subscription information, and other various disclaimers. This isn't required to have by law, but it's recommended in order to prevent abuse from happening to the app or website. It also limits the owner's liability of the online business.

Without having this agreement and without it being enforced, there isn't a way to legally control or limit who uses your website or app. Copyright infringement issues can happen if users use your content without getting your permission or abuse issues occur, such as a user spamming others or leaving defamatory content on the app or website. The agreement lets you use specific language to make certain activity forbidden while also providing a remedy in case abuses happen.

It's recommended that users who register for an account must agree to the terms. The terms and conditions can be named anything the company wants. Common names include user agreement, terms of service, and terms of use. What the legal agreement is called isn't as important as the content of the agreement.

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