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A Good Website Privacy Policy Can Save Your Business

James Chiodo, Certified Information Privacy Professional CIPP/US

A Professionally Drafted Privacy Policy Can Save Your Business – Just Ask Game Stop

For a business website, your privacy policy may not be the first thing that you think of when it comes to content. You need videos, images, sales copy, blogs, and the like. That type of content brings in leads, creates customers, and drives revenue. However, a poorly drafted privacy policy (or lack of one altogether) could result in that hard-earned revenue going to pay for lawyers and lawsuits.

Usually, you may expect to find an example of a website that paid the price for using a poorly written privacy policy as a warning example, but let’s take a look at a positive example of a privacy policy – the one that may have saved GameStop a fortune.

Lawsuit Against GameStop Over Game Informer Magazine Online Browsing
In Matthew Carlsen v. GameStop, Inc., the Plaintiff claimed his privacy was violated when GameStop shared his personal information with Facebook via a Software Development Kit that allowed users to log in to the Game Informer website using a Facebook ID in exchange for granting Facebook the ability to see the Game Informer user’s Facebook ID and Game Informer browsing history.

The alleged crime was that sharing the user’s browsing history with Facebook would be considered consumer fraud in Minnesota. Counsel was seeking class certification on the grounds that all subscribers who logged in using Facebook faced the same privacy issues.

GameStop filed a motion to dismiss and won thanks in part to the fact the Court could not find grounds to proceed. Instead, the Court found that a user’s Facebook ID and Game Informer browsing history were not considered “personal information” according to the site’s privacy policy (which clearly outlined a definition of personal information) and that the information was not specifically solicited by Game Informer or submitted in response to a direct solicitation as the privacy policy stated must be the case for a violation to occur.

It’s clear that the professionally written website privacy policy is what allowed GameStop to avoid a drawn-out court case with a potential for a large class-action payout.

A Professionally Written Website Privacy Policy to Protect You
If you need a professionally drafted privacy policy for your website, don’t settle for a free or cookie cutter policy from the Internet. Our website privacy policy template can be customized to meet the unique needs of each client. Our website privacy policies are drafted by a licensed attorney and Certified Information Privacy Professional. To get started, visit www.DisclaimerTemplate.com.

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