This section covers the following topics:
The purpose and audience of a privacy notice
The objectives of a privacy notice
Where a privacy notice should be published
An example privacy notice for a ficticious company called Acme Services
This “Privacy Notice Advisory Site” is provided as guidance and does not constitute legal advice. We hope this page is helpful to you as a reference. At the bottom of this page you can contact us if you'd like assistance or have any questions.
Purpose and Audience of Privacy Notices
A website privacy notice is written to a diverse audience. In many business cases, the audience is often one of the following individuals:
Visitors to your website
Employees applying for a job online
Individuals submitting a data subject access request (DSAR)
Subscribers to your online service
Quick Info: What's a Privacy Notice?
Your privacy notice is a legal statement describing how you collect, use, disclose and manage your customer’s data. It delineates your organisation’s lawful basis for collecting and processing personal data, disclosing whether the data was obtained directly or indirectly. A privacy notice should be transparent and easy to understand, and is an important way to help your customers make informed decisions about the data collected and processed.
Objectives of Privacy Notice
When writing your privacy notice, it should tell individuals the following:
how your organization collects personal information
why your organization collects personal information
the purpose for which your organization processes personal information
whether or not personal information is required to be submitted or is voluntary
with whom your organization shares personal information when it is collected
if information is transferred across jurisdictional borders to another country, and the protections ensured when this occurs
and whether or not your organization performs automated profiling or decision-making
Because of today’s electronic reach and instant access to services, regulations are necessary in order for law enforcement to prosecute wrongdoers. But wrongdoers are not only those that remotely hack and steal identity; wrongdoers are those to whom data has been entrusted yet fail to provide adequate levels of protection to that information. Businesses, being data controllers and processors, are obligated ethically and legally to protect data, and more than 100+ countries now have regulations that require various degrees of protection be given identity information regarding data subjects.
It's important that we are responsible for the information entrusted to us. We should realize any data protection regulations that are expected from our organization. Regulations were designed to protect individuals and their identity. We should not only pursue compliance with these regulations, but we should want to pursue compliance in data protection regulations. This starts with knowing what laws apply, and what they require.
Written in Understandable Language
The privacy notice should be written in transparent and simple language to understand. Some national laws specifically “call-out” a prohibition against using complex legal language in privacy notices.
According to the GDPR, Articles 12, 13 and 14 provide detailed instructions on how to create a privacy notice, placing an emphasis on making it easy for individuals to understand and easy to access. Organizations must provide individuals with a privacy notice that is:
in a concise, transparent, intelligible, and easily accessible form
written in clear and plain language, particularly for any information addressed specifically to a child
delivered in a timely manner
provided free of charge
A privacy notice is an externally facing message, telling customers and visitors (such as to a website) and other stakeholders what the organisation does with personal information it collects.
Required Information for a Privacy Notice
When your organization collects information directly from an individual, your privacy notice must include the following information:
the identity and contact details of the organization, its Data Protection Officer (if applicable), and its representative
the purpose for which personal information is collected and processed
the lawful basis by which personal information may be processed
the organization’s legitimate interests (or the same for the third party, where applicable)
any recipient or categories of recipients of an individual’s personal data
the details regarding any transfers of personal data to a third country and the safeguards taken
the retention period or criteria used to determine the retention period of the data
the existence of each data subject’s rights
the right to withdraw consent at any time (where relevant)
the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, and instructions for doing so if needed
whether the provision of personal data is part of a statutory or contractual requirement or obligation and the possible consequences of failing to provide the personal data
the existence of an automated decision-making system, when applicable, including profiling, and information about how this system has been set up, the significance, and the consequences
If an organization obtains an individual’s data indirectly (meaning via another organization) then its privacy notice must provide all the same information, except for
Whether the provision of personal data is part of a statutory or contractual requirement or obligation and the possible consequences of failing to provide the personal data
The categories of personal data obtained.
Under the GDPR, per Article 14(3), if an organization obtains personal data from a third party, it must communicate the above information to the data subject either: no later than one month after the organization has obtained the data, at the time the organization first communicates with the data subject, or before sharing the data with another organization. Access to the privacy notice should be made available from a direct link on every webpage.
The GDPR also publishes that a privacy notice must be made available orally upon request to ensure comprehension and to aid the visually impaired.
An Example Privacy Notice That You Can Use
With that background, the following is an example website privacy notice. The notice below is provided as an example. You may copy and modify this notice for use on your own website, changing the contents to fit your unique environment.
We recommend your privacy notice to be a dedicated page, with a link to this page made available from the footer of every webpage.
At Acme Services (hereinafter, “we” or “us” or “our” or the “Organization”), we sincerely care about privacy, security, and transparency; these fundamental elements of privacy and security play an important part in our organisation’s mission. Toward that, this Privacy Notice explains how we safeguard your personal information when you surf our website; it also clarifies your privacy privileges and how the law protects you. This Privacy Notice also applies to personal data you entrust to us when subscribing to our one of our services.
How Acme Services Collects Information
One of the purposes of this Privacy Notice is to explain how we collect and process personal data at (website address), including any data provided through the website or the application forms. The information may be provided through contact forms, payment forms or when you apply for an opportunity at our location.
Please be informed that this website is not intended for children, defined as age 15 and under; we absolutely do not knowingly collect data from children.
We encourage you to read this Privacy Notice; it has been written to ensure you understand how we collect information, how it is safeguarded, what is collected, how it is processed, where it is processed, with whom we may share it, and your rights under the law.
Understanding Who Controls Your Data
This Privacy Notice applies when we are acting as the Data Controller with respect to the personal data we process about you. In other words, where we determine the purpose and the means of the processing, we are identified as the Data Controller and we are responsible for controlling and safeguarding your personal data.
Toward that, we have assigned a data privacy manager to superintend all aspects of this Privacy Notice, ensuring your questions are answered and your rights are respected. Whenever you have questions, you should contact the data privacy manager via one of the venues below:
Attn: Data Privacy Manager
State and Zip
Phone: +00 00 000 00 00
How We Collect Your Data
We may collect your data through direct interaction, automation, or third parties. Here’s more information about these methodologies:
Direct interactions. We may receive your information directly when you:
request marketing information to be sent to you;
enquire about services;
submit an application;
interview with us; or
provide us feedback.
Automated technologies or interactions. When you use our website or log in to our services, we may learn technical data about your computing system and browsing activity. This data is gathered by employing cookies and related tools.
Third parties. Your personal data may be received via a third party as follows:
Via analytics through providers such as Google Analytics, which is located outside of the EU; and
From service providers, we use, including companies such as:
(these are just examples, and you would replace them with your real world systems and briefly describe their purpose).
Salesforce to manage clients and processes;
Xero and Stripe to process invoices and payments;
MailChimp to communicate with you; and
Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for collaboration and advertising purposes.
To learn more about the cookies we utilize on this site please refer to our cookie notice.
Information We May Collect About You
We may collect the following information about you that makes you identifiable. We may also process, store, transfer or modify data that has been grouped together such as:
Identity Data including first name, surname, username, date of birth, nationality (but not race or ethnicity) and any other personal details you may send to us.
Contact Data includes email address, geographic address, and social media data.
Employment Data includes educational and vocational experience, character references, interview data, application decision data.
Technical Data includes your internet protocol (IP) address, operation system, browser type and plug-ins, mobile platform, and other technical data regarding your computing platform.
Usage Data includes data regarding how you use our platform, which pages you visit, and other relevant metrics about our website.
Communication Data includes marketing data, including choice in whether or not to receive newsletters and communication from us or our third parties.
Sometimes we aggregate data such as statistical metrics or demographic information stemming from your personal data. It should be noted that statistical and demographic data is not personal data when it does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. Only when statistical data is combined with personal data will this Privacy Notice apply.
In some instances, we may receive sensitive data about you, which may be defined differently in various countries. Using Article 9 of the GDPR as a baseline, this data, if provided, may be associated with your religious or philosophical beliefs, or could include information about your health. If you provide us this information, you do so by choice and under no compulsion whatsoever. We commit to safeguard your data and provide it adequate protections, and will only use it according to the purposes set forth in this Privacy Notice and according to legal limitations.
How We Process Your Data
Our Organisation will only process your data according to the allowance permitted by law. In most instances, we will only use your data in the following situations:
when you provide us with your consent to process your personal data, which may be revoked by you at any time and for any reason;
when it may be necessary for our legitimate interest;
when we may need to respond to a legal requirement or regulatory action; and
where we need to fulfill our obligation to provide training when you enroll into one of our training programmes.
If you have any further questions about how we process your data, or if you want to revoke your consent, please contact us at email@example.com.
Lawful Basis for Processing
In the following table, we describe ways your personal information may be used; each of these uses are tied to a legal basis for processing. Further, we have also outlined wherever we have a legitimate interest to process your data where appropriate.
Requests for information: emails to us; requests for marketing information; enquiries about enrollment; responding to feedback provided to us.
Identity Data: name. Contact Data: email address; phone number; name. Communication Data: marketing preferences.
Article 6: (a) Consent: the individual has given clear consent to process their personal data for a specific purpose.
Completing and submitting an application for employment.
Identity Data: title; given names; DoB, gender; nationality (but not race or ethnicity). Contact Data: phone number; social media handle; email; mailing address; language preference. Enrollment Data: education and vocational experience; character references.
Article 6: (b) Contract: the processing is necessary for a contract you have with the individual, or because they have asked you to take specific steps before entering into a contract.
Payment processing: donations; invoices and payments.
Identity Data: name; contact data; email address; billing address; phone number; tax deductible location.
Donations are processed based on article 6 (a) Consent: the individual has given clear consent to process their personal data for a specific purpose. Invoices and payments are processed based on Article 6 (b) Contract: the processing is necessary for a contract you have with the individual, or because they have asked you to take specific steps before entering into a contract.
Application Decision Process
Identity Data: title; given names; DoB; gender; nationality (but not race or ethnicity). Contact Data: phone number; social media handle; email; mailing address; language preference. Enrollment data: education and vocational experience; character references; interview data; application decision data. Special Categories of Data: religious beliefs; information about your health.
Article 6: (b) Contract: the processing is necessary for a contract you have with the individual, or because they have asked you to take specific steps before entering into a contract.
It is also possible that we may process your personal information via more than one lawful basis depending upon the purpose for which we are using it. If you have questions about the lawful basis by which we are processing your data, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Explanation of Lawful Basis
Many laws around the world require a controller to show it has properly considered which lawful basis applies to each processing purpose. It also requires controllers to justify the decision. Toward that, and using EU GDPR definitions below, the following lawful basis applies to processing activities noted in the table above.
Consent means we have received your consent to process your personal data for the purpose specified.
Legitimate Interest means the interest of our business in conducting and managing our business to enable us to give you the best service and the best and most secure experience. We make sure we consider and balance any potential impact on you (both positive and negative) and your rights before we process your personal data for our legitimate interests. We do not use your personal data for activities where our interests are overridden by the impact on you, unless we have your consent or are otherwise required or permitted to by law. You can obtain further information about how we assess our legitimate interests against any potential impact on you in respect of specific activities by contacting us at email@example.com.
Performance of Contract means processing your data where it is necessary for the performance of an agreement to which you are a party or to take steps at your request before entering into such an agreement.
Comply with a Legal or Regulatory Obligation means processing your personal data where it is necessary for compliance with a legal or regulatory obligation that we are subject to.
This website may include links to third-party websites. Clicking on those links or enabling those connections may allow third parties to collect or share data about you. We do not control these third-party websites and are not responsible for their privacy statements. When you leave our website, we encourage you to read the privacy notice or other relevant information of every website you visit.
Communication & Marketing
We will make every effort to provide you with choices regarding certain personal data uses, particularly around marketing and advertising.
We may use your Identity, Contact, Technical, Usage and Profile Data to form a view on what we think you may want or need, or what may be of interest to you. This is how we decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you (we call this marketing).
You will receive marketing communications from us if you have requested information from us, purchased services from us or if you provided us with your details when you subscribed to our newsletter and, in each case, you have not opted out of receiving that marketing.
You can ask us or third parties to stop sending you marketing messages at any time by following the opt-out links on any marketing message sent to you or by contacting us at any time. Where you opt-out of receiving these marketing messages, this will not apply to personal data provided to us as a result of a service purchase, service experience or other transaction.
When We Might Change How We Use Your Data
We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If you wish to get an explanation as to how the processing for the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose, please contact us.
If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.
Please note that we may process or disclose your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.
Transferring Your Data
Some of our external third parties are based outside the European Economic Area (EEA). In those cases, processing of your personal data will involve a transfer of data outside the EEA. A list of the external third parties are shown below.
Name of Subprocessors
Registered Business Address
Location of Processing
Link to Privacy / Security Policy
Googleplex, Mountain View, California
DENVER (HQ) 1615 Platte St. Suite 400 Denver, CO 80202
Stripe Payments Europe, Ltd., a company incorporated in Ireland and with offices at 1 Grand Canal Street Lower, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin
Whenever we transfer your personal data out of the EEA, we ensure a similar degree of protection is afforded to it by employing at least one (or more) of the following safeguards:
We will only transfer your personal data to countries that have been deemed to provide an adequate level of protection for personal data by the European Commission. For further details, see European Commission: Adequacy of the protection of personal data in non-EU countries.
Where we use certain service providers, we may use specific contracts approved by the European Commission which give personal data the same protection it has in Europe. For further details, see European Commission: Model contracts for the transfer of personal data to third countries.
Where we use providers based in the US, we may transfer data to them if they are part of the Privacy Shield which requires them to provide similar protection to personal data shared between the Europe and the US. For further details, see European Commission: EU-US Privacy Shield.
Please contact us if you want further information on the specific mechanism used by us when transferring your personal data out of the EEA.
We have put into place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.
How Long We Use Your Data
We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.
To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.
By law we have to keep basic information about our customers (including Contact, Identity, Financial and Transaction Data) for six years after they cease being customers for tax purposes. With respect to information you provide to us in relation to an application for a job, we may keep this information for up to twelve years to make the processes by which we evaluate and assess candidates more efficient.
In some circumstances you can ask us to delete your data: see below for further information.
In some circumstances we may anonymize your personal data (so that it can no longer be associated with you) for research or statistical purposes in which case we may use this information indefinitely without further notice to you.
Under certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data. You have the right to:
Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.
Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.
Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.
Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (a) if you want us to establish the data’s accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c ) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or (d) you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.
Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.
Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.
If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.
What We May Need From You
We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response. We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.
Changes to this Statement
We will occasionally update this Privacy Notice to reflect company and customer feedback. We encourage you to periodically review this statement to be informed of how we are protecting your information.
Acme Services welcomes your comments regarding this Privacy Notice. If you believe that we have not adhered to this notice, please contact us at email@example.com. We will use reasonable efforts to promptly determine and remedy the problem. Our Data Privacy Manager can be contacted on +00 00 000 00 0.
A Brief Recap Before You Leave
A privacy notice needs to tell people what data your organisation collects, how, and why.
The goal is for a privacy notice to be simple, understandble and clear in its format.
You need a reason to collect someone's data so you need to be able to give an explanation of lawful basis for processing.
Clearly list details about your organisation (where it's located, and how the appropriate person may be contacted).
Clearly list details about any other organisations that also have access to this data and are subprocessors.