Privacy is something every business now needs to take very seriously. Last newsletter we provided the vital information you needed to know about getting ready for the privacy change. Now that the law is in full force, you need to know what could happen if you don’t understand how the new policies work.

Not only could you receive considerable fines, it could significantly damage the reputation of your business – no one likes the idea of their information being passed around the internet.

It is just another standard piece of legislation that you need to comply with. However, what you as a business owner might not know is that you can actually use the new changes to your advantage your business.

First things first, the new Privacy act only legally applies to businesses with an annual turnover of $3M, or if you’re a health service, advertising or marketing service or a government contractor. 

However, the Australian Information Commission now has more power to crack down on those not complying with the law, and they have recently announced they will be conducting “random sweeps of business websites and will issue fines to non-compliant websites.” 

Unfortunately for the businesses that earn under $3m in revenue, you won’t be excluded from these random sweeps. The AIC has no way of knowing if your business meets the required revenue or not. If a sweep picks up your site and finds you don’t have a Privacy Policy, you’ll have to go to the trouble of proving your revenue falls under the $3M line. It’s best to save yourself the trouble and have a policy clearly published on your site.

Now to the good news: If your business doesn’t fall under the affected category, you CAN benefit from complying! There are a number of reasons why a new and updated Privacy Policy can be a positive influence on your business. It can’

1. Build a trustworthy and professional image. There’s no question that a Privacy Policy not only looks professional, but gives your business added credibility. A well presented policy will be highly appreciated by your customers, and better yet, it will grow your customers level of trust for your business.

2. Act as more than one tool. If your business’ website requires customer’s bank details, especially if they’re using a payment gateway for transactions, the bank requires you to have a Privacy Policy published on your site. You also need a policy in place to comply with Google Adwords, as they require you to include a statement on cookies in there. So the best thing is, once you’ve got a great policy written out, it can check the box off other legal requirements.

3. Help close the potential sale. Believe it or not, a Privacy Policy will go along way when it comes to closing a purchase with your customer/client. It comes back to the trustworthy image that comes with the policy – insuring that their personal information with be 100% protected. Customers love to see a great Privacy Policy knowing that they will be secure.

It’s clear that the Privacy Act is something to think about in your business, even if you aren’t legally required to comply with the new changes. The AIC is taking it very seriously, so save yourself the trouble and update your business.

You should always have your legal policies, like your privacy policy, written by a solicitor. Don’t ‘borrow’ off the web – solicitors and other organisations often trawl the web looking for ‘borrowed’ work and you’ll have a lovely cease and desist note issued or worse.

If you’d like any help with adding a Privacy Policy to your site, or managing a website refresh, we’d love to help. Give us a call on (02) 9994 8005 or email us.

Malcare WordPress Security