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The Death of Privacy Policy Generators

James Chiodo, Certified Information Privacy Professional CIPP/US

For years, the Internet has been flooded with website privacy policy generators as a cheap and quick way to get a privacy policy for a website. At last count, there were almost 50 of these generators on the Internet.

Privacy Policy Generators Are Flawed
We have yet to see a privacy policy generator that produces a privacy policy that complies with global privacy laws and does not contain problematic or unenforceable provisions. When closely examined, online privacy generators are inherently flawed and cannot account for lack of understanding by their customers, the many nuances of global privacy laws (especially the GDPR) and can put the website or mobile app owner at risk of legal liability.

When reviewing the websites that were promoting these generators I noticed that many of their own privacy policies were not compliant with the current privacy laws. So that begs the question that if their own privacy policy is not compliant with the new laws, how is it possible their privacy generator will create ones that are?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements can be unclear and open to interpretation, too much so to be left to a privacy policy generator without a review of the customer’s website and analyzing their business operations.

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has made the issue of whether privacy generators are any good a pointless debate – they are worthless and do not comply with current privacy laws.

The privacy generator is not the only problem. The user is a problem too. The average website owner does not understand the new complex privacy laws that affect him or her, so how is s/he to accurately answer questions that s/he does not understand when using a privacy policy generator?

Here is a typical comment from one of our clients before she found us:
“I went to all the free privacy policy generator sites out there and didn’t even know how to answer some of the questions.”

Online privacy policy generators were created for only one reason – because they are a cheap and easy way to make money without hands-on professional help. Privacy policy generators are dead, it is time to bury them.

What Are the Alternatives to a Privacy Policy Generator?
Considering the complexity of the new privacy laws, there is only one alternative that makes sense. And that is to hire a privacy professional experienced with Internet privacy laws and how they affect website, mobile app, and SAS owners to draft your privacy policy (the correct term is privacy notice, not privacy policy).

“It is the little things in documents that people don’t see that help or hurt their business.”

 

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