Take the 2-minute tour ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

We've determined that our website needs a privacy policy and a terms of use page to protect our interests. Are there automated tools that will generate these for us? How do we go about creating these parts of the website?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Stephen Ostermiller Aug 27 '13 at 9:45

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions asking us to recommend a tool, library or favorite off-site resource are off-topic for Pro Webmasters as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam." – Stephen Ostermiller
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2  
good question!! –  Jason Jul 8 '10 at 20:47

6 Answers 6

up vote 15 down vote accepted

The Better Business Bureau Online has a Sample Privacy Notice which is as good as any in terms of a simple, but thorough policy. It has these sections:

  • Our Commitment To Privacy
  • The Information We Collect
  • How We Use Information
  • Our Commitment To Data Security
  • Our Commitment To Children's Privacy
  • How To Access Or Correct Your Information
  • How To Contact Us

Here's another one, from a apps.gov site, with these headings:

  • Information Collected and Stored Automatically
  • If You Provide Personal Information
  • Cookies
  • Links to Other Sites
  • Children’s Privacy
  • Internet Security
  • Changes to this Policy

Those two together should give you a solid template. If you store and collect more data, be clear about the data retention and reselling policies and you might think about putting together something more like an End User License Agreement.

share|improve this answer
    
+1, thanks - the link moved but I found a couple of additional resources as well! –  altCognito Aug 7 '10 at 0:15
    
Fixed the BBB link to point at the new location. (Shame on BBB for not implementing a proper redirect!) –  artlung Aug 7 '10 at 1:18
    
Thank you so much for this information! priceless! –  Keith Groben Jan 28 '11 at 22:12

The excellent resouce artlung provided to the BBB website link is now moved. This was the closest thing I could find: http://www.bbb.org/us/WWWRoot/SitePage.aspx?site=70&id=a17891ea-ce8e-48d7-a27a-e6d2e5833cea

Linked within is a set of tips on how to create your privacy policy: http://www.bbbonline.org/UnderstandingPrivacy/PMRC/createpolicy.asp

Here are a couple more generators online: http://www.oecd.org/document/39/0,2340,en_2649_34255_28863271_1_1_1_1,00.html

and... ( this one requires membership):

http://www.the-dma.org/privacy/creating.shtml

You may also find the Fair Information Practice Principals at the FTC interesting.

share|improve this answer

Updating with some new answers, since the law is changing fast in this area: Docracy has open sourced its own terms and various privacy policies specific to mobile apps, annotations included. We also published a drafting guide. Other companies that famously allow intelligent copying of their terms are Quora and Wordpress. There are some free and paid privacy policy assemblers available online, I personally like privacychoice.org and iubenda.com.

Disclosure: I work for Docracy

share|improve this answer

If you have a legal team (but you don't, or you wouldn't be asking) check with them. I have honestly just taken and modified the terms from sites that are similar to mine.

While I don't know of any automated tools, I don't think the TOS on a site varies much from one to the other unless you have some pretty unique public content. When we were deploying sites the boilerplate we used didn't change more than half the time.

share|improve this answer

We got ours from here. It's customised and was cheap(er than getting a legal team to do it for us).

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.