There are many components of effective web design. Web design is challenging on the best of days, but it can be particularly overwhelming when you need to include disclosures. No one wants to be bogged down by legalese and long agreements, but they are necessary to protect yourself from litigious people.
But first, let’s take a look at the organizations and laws that manage the privacy and disclosures you need to include. They are:
GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation Disclosures
The GDPR protects “data subjects,” who are natural persons and does not specify residency or citizenship requirements
CCPA: California Consumer Privacy Act
The CCPA protects “consumers” who are natural persons and who must be California residents in order to be protected.
CalOPPA: California Online Privacy Protection Act
PIPEDA: Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
This is a federal privacy law for private-sector organizations. It sets out the ground rules for how businesses must handle personal information in the course of their commercial activity
While reading through these requirements, keep in mind that not all websites need every disclosure. Your requirements may vary according to your product or service, industry, state, country or other factors. Most of our laws in the US are a result of California setting the standard.
T&C policies are not legally required in all countries, but they are strongly recommended as they protect both the website owner and the user.
While they are not legally required in the US, it’s important to understand that they will eventually be the standard for all websites. This is just one more reason it’s important to hire a professional web designer for your business website. At Moonlit Media, we care about the lifespan of your website and will recommend that you include these policies on your website.
The UK has some of the strictest cookie policies as the GDPR sets out seven key principles:
- Lawfulness, fairness and transparency.
- Purpose limitation.
- Data minimization.
- Storage limitation.
- Integrity and confidentiality (security)
4. Disclosure Policy
If a website publishes sponsored content or reviews, it’s important to have a disclosure policy that explains how these relationships work. This can help to avoid any accusations of bias or conflicts of interest.
5. Affiliate Disclosures
If a website earns commission from affiliate links or referrals, it’s important to disclose this to users. This helps you build trust with the audience and avoid any accusations of deception.
In addition, you should always include the words “promoted, sponsored or affiliate” should you promote these links or content with the links on any social media page. The rise of influencers has resulted in the FTC cracking down on users who don’t disclose that they are affiliated with a website, earning income, or affiliated with the company they are promoting.
6. General Disclaimer
A disclaimer is a statement that limits a website’s liability for certain types of content or actions. For example, a medical website may have a disclaimer stating that the information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
A disclaimer warns users that the information provided on the website is not a substitute for professional advice and that the website owner is not responsible for any damages or losses that may arise from the use of the website.
Disclaimers are particularly important for websites that provide information or advice on a sensitive topic such as healthcare.
7. Copyright Notice
Copyright Notices help inform users that the content on your website is protected by copyright law. A copyright notice is not legally required in all countries, but it is recommended for all websites. You can add one by simply adding this statement at the very bottom of your home page, which says:
Copyright © 2023 Name of Company. All Rights Reserved
While these are not all of the notices available on a website, they are the ones most often required by search engines. At Moonlit Media, we will suggest which disclosures and agreements you will need for your website. However, we are not lawyers and we encourage you to do research on this topic for your specific industry.