Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for Websites

When operating a business online, you are required by law to prepare several legal documents. These documents (a privacy policy, website terms, and sales/business terms and conditions) inform visitors to your website of their rights and responsibilities, protect your website and intellectual property, and fulfill your legal obligations.

  • Website terms – A set of rules for visitors to your website. Describes what visitors may or may not do, and protects you from liability through the inclusion of a disclaimer.
  • Privacy policy – A legal requirement under the Australian Privacy Principles, and the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988. A website’s privacy policy states how your business will store and manage the personal information of visitors/clients.
  • Sales/ Business terms and conditions – Addresses consumer law requirements relevant to your business and helps to protect you from liability.

The website terms and privacy policy apply to each visitor and/or customer that accesses your website. More detailed information on each of these documents may be found under the headings below.

The Australian Privacy Principles and your website’s Privacy Policy

A Privacy Policy is required for any website that uses/collects personal information. The Australian Privacy Principles, or APPs, contain several mandatory requirements that may also be found under Schedule 1 of the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988. The APPs also outline what constitutes good privacy practice by businesses. Therefore, your website’s privacy policy needs to describe the procedures and practices your business has implemented to ensure it is compliant with the APPs.  It must also describe the types of information being collected, how and why it is used, and whether or not your business will disclose that information to any other parties. Your privacy policy must also state ways in which clients may contact you, unsubscribe, and complain. It is important that your website’s Privacy Policy is compliant with the Privacy Act 1988, as there are heavy penalties, including large fines, for breaching the act. It is recommended that you seek legal advice if you are unsure of your specific privacy obligations. 

Sales/Business Terms and Conditions

If you offer any services or goods for sale on your website, you will be required to draft a set of Terms and Conditions specific to your business.

  • These Terms and Conditions must describe the services or products that you offer, and the way that they are delivered.
  • This document must also list payment terms, including any interest you may charge, or if you reserve the right to hire a debt collector or solicitor should circumstances require you to enforce these terms.
  • It must also list mandatory consumer guarantees that exist under consumer law, such as a refund policy.
  • Website Terms and Conditions should also describe the business’ dispute resolution procedure in order to reduce the potential risk of being taken to court should a dispute occur.
  • Limitations and disclaimers on your liability should also be included in this document, in order to protect your lawful interests.

For the purposes of Australian consumer law, there are three types of online business. Each type has different requirements regarding the Business Terms and Conditions they are required to implement:

Service Business – Client Agreement

A Client Agreement is legally required for any business that sells services. This Client Agreement describes the services provided by the business, including how they are delivered, with regard to the obligations of both business and client. You may refer clients to the Agreement should any dispute occur over the delivery of services.

Shop/ E-Commerce – Sales Terms and Conditions

Important details regarding the sale of goods are located in the Sales Terms and Conditions. Such details include refund/exchange policy, and procedures carried out by the business to ensure that its operations comply with Australian consumer law. A well-drafted set of Sales Terms and Conditions can prevent customers from initiating some legal claims against a business; ensuring disputes are resolved quickly and efficiently.

Marketplace – Marketplace Terms and Conditions

Online marketplaces are growing in popularity as a way to do buy and sell products and services. Online marketplaces require comprehensive and detailed terms and conditions in order to ensure users conduct business in a lawful and desirable way when using the site. Marketplace Terms and Conditions must also define the legal relationships between parties using the site, as well as the management of intellectual property and the obligations of users and of the business itself.

Website Terms of Use

This document lists ways in which users are expected to conduct themselves when accessing a website. This ensures that intellectual property in the form of a business’ web content is protected, as a Website Terms of Use can include a copyright statement for the website. This document also reduces liability for the business by clearly outlining the manner in which the website is designed to be used, and what constitutes unacceptable use.

Website Disclaimers

Website disclaimers relate specifically to legal liability, therefore they differ from the more general Website Terms and Conditions, which encompass relationship obligations, business procedures etc.

Acceptable Use Policy

An acceptable use policy, or AUP, is a legal document that defines the practices and constraints that a user must agree to if they which to access a corporate network. It is common for businesses to require employees or clients to sign an acceptable use policy before being given login credentials or a network ID

Contact LGM Advisors today and talk to us about your privacy policy and your terms of use on (03) 9832 0608 or by email at marketing@lgmadvisors.com.au.