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I have coded my own forums from the ground up. I have tried my best to make my code as secure as possible and encrypting everything I can. I want to use this forum for a Minecraft server. I have one concern however.... I would like to setup this forum now but having no TOS or Privacy Policy has put me off. Will having none of either cause me any legal trouble in the unlikely event of a data leakage? Thanks

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Do I really need one though? –  JamerTheProgrammer Oct 6 '12 at 13:32

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If you use Adsense ads on your site, you are required by Google to have a privacy policy per the Adsense terms of service. From http://support.google.com/adsense/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=48182:

AdSense publishers must have and abide by a privacy policy that discloses that third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your users' browsers, or using web beacons to collect information as a result of ad serving on your website.

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Why you don't generate one with one of the free tools available??, may take no more than half an hour, google for privacy policy generator. Kudos for coding your own forums, sometimes reinventing the wheel is good. !

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That depends on the country you live in. The country the server is in which hosts your site. If your country doesn't have strict privacy policy laws you don't need them. It's your server and anyone accessing it does at their own risk that you being the owner can do whatever you want with the data. The EFF has a good article on how bloggers (forums) are safe from most legal action when other people are the ones posting on your site.

https://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/liability/230

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Ah thanks! Its hosted by 000Hosting... So it would be American. Thanks! –  JamerTheProgrammer Oct 11 '12 at 11:09

If you collect, store and use any personal data (email address, first name etc.) from your forums, you will need a privacy policy.

ToS are a plus if you want to prevent abuses, explain guidelines on using your forums etc. These pages are usually listed separately.

Automattic (of WordPress) made their privacy policy available under Creative Commons: http://automattic.com/privacy/

Or, you can use a generator: http://termsfeed.com/privacy-policy/generator/

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