WWW (What Websites Want)

No, this isn’t a knock-off of that Mel Gibson film… today, we’re talking about website compliance! It sounds boring but this is super important for pretty much every business since operating a website isn’t so much a choice in today’s age, but a necessity!

In a nutshell, your website needs just three simple things:

Terms and conditions (Ts and Cs)

Kind of like a contract, your Ts and Cs sets out the details about your website, such as who it is owned by, and the rules and guidelines users must follow when browsing it. There isn’t a hard and fast rule about the exact wording, as long as the general points are covered:

  • Include a copyright notice stating that all the content published on your website is your own work and that people cannot nick it and repurpose it elsewhere.
  • Make clear that they shouldn’t commit any computer misuse like introducing viruses or Trojans and that they need to keep any logins details private. You should be able to delete their account if they breach your Ts and Cs.
  • Add disclaimers and limit your liability so you’re off the hook – like that they use your website at their own risk, and you aren’t liable to them for any bugs they get or their losses if they rely on the information to their detriment.
  • Tell users that you can’t guarantee that your website is accurate, error-free, or up to date. You might want to say when the Ts and Cs were last updated (i.e., ‘Last updated August 2021’).
  • Always say which law governs your website, which is most likely going to be where your head office is based.

Cookies consent banner

Yes, we mean that annoying banner that pops every time you use a website and asks you if you want to accept the cookies. This is a requirement under UK GDPR and so make sure you have this! A user is free to decline, but that means that you won’t be able to provide the full website experience. Your web developer will be able to add this for you.

Privacy (and cookies) policy

Data protection, as you know, is so important and so you must, must, must have a privacy policy on your website. If you use cookies (or things like Google  Analytics or Google Ads), you will also want to cover this in your policy.

The purpose of this policy is to tell your website users (or any customer/client who engages you for goods or services) what personal data you collect and why you do it. By this, we mean the lawful basis that you collect their data. There are six in total, but the ones you are most likely to rely on are:

Consent – by using your website, they consent to their data being collected and if they don’t consent, they shouldn’t use your website.


Contract – you need their personal data (like their name, email address and phone number) to fulfil your contact with them (i.e., they instruct you as a coach and you need to contact them).


You’ll need to explain what cookies you use and that you can’ identify them from, but the main purpose is to improve user experience of the website.

 

You also need to tell them where you store their data (i.e., what country), when you might disclose their data and what rights they have in respect of their data. They should be able to ask you to delete their data or to revoke their consent at any time.

To conclude

That’s it! Simple, yet very often forgotten - a bit pitfall for businesses. Whether you get a solicitor to help you out with drafting these, or you DIY it, make sure they match your desired ‘tone’, one that matches your business vibe. Please, please make sure that they are current and reflect the changes since Brexit. You’d know this by checking when they were last updated.