When you are starting your business or launching a tech startup, you need to take a lot of steps to make sure that you successfully get your business off the ground and set it on a path that will bring you profit and help you meet the needs of your future customers.
These legal agreements are extremely valuable for both you and your customers or clients, because not only do they inform people about everything that they are agreeing to when they start using your services, but they also protect your company against certain legal claims.
It should be provided to them through your website or the app before they actually start using them.
What exactly is meant by "personal information"?
Personal information includes your users' names, addresses, email addresses, IP addresses, date of birth and credit card information and anything by which your users can be identified.
For instance, you may collect their email addresses, so that you can send updates about your products or services.
That kind of information includes their zip codes, the pages that they visit on your website, the web browsers, and devices they are using to visit your site and anything that cannot be used to identify your users.
You need to show your website or mobile app users that they can trust you and that you will handle all of the collected and stored information of them with the utmost care and protection.
Hence, the main purpose of this legal document is protecting you and your company against any kind of legal liability and claims. Even if you don't collect any kind of information, your users need to know that, because you certainly want them to feel safe and secure when using any of your services.
Protects Your Company Against Legal Implications
The most important of these factors is where the visitors to your website are likely to be located. This will determine under what country’s laws you owe privacy obligations to them.
What is a terms and conditions agreement?
The terms and conditions set forth the conditions, clauses, terms, and requirements related to using the app or website. This legal agreement sets the requirements, rules, and standards of using the website or app. As an example, a section that's common on the terms and conditions section includes account deactivation if a user misuses the app or website, copyright information, billing and subscription information, and other various disclaimers. This agreement isn't required to have by law, but it's highly recommended in order to prevent abuse from happening to the website or mobile app. It also limits the owner's legal liability of the online business.Therefore, in order for people to use your website or mobile app, you need to clearly state what they need to do if they want to use them, as well as what you will do in case of some violations of the rules that you lay out in the agreement. Your terms and conditions agreement should include your copyright details, your billing, and subscription policies (especially important for SaaS companies), potential warranties on your services, potential modifications of your services, and how exactly your users may use your website or mobile app.This agreement should also include what will happen if a user doesn't abide by your rules and guidelines and if they abuse your website or mobile app. For instance, they may be requested to pay a fine, or they may be temporarily or permanently banned from using your services.
You should also make sure that your terms and conditions agreement includes a disclaimer notice that will limit your company's liability. This means stating that you will not be held responsible if someone finds some kind of information on your website or mobile app to be incorrect.
Although this agreement is not required by law, it is highly recommended that you have it, precisely because of limiting your liability, as well as for protecting your company against any potential abuses of your website or mobile app, such as copyright infringement, for instance.
It is very important to protect your intellectual property, such as your logo, your unique web or mobile app design and your content (unless the content is user-generated), which is yet another reason for having a terms and conditions agreement.
Therefore, you should make sure that you include the Intellectual Property clause in your terms and conditions. Also, you should include the Governing Law clause to show that the law of the country that you operate in governs your terms and conditions.
Apart from limiting legal liability and protecting your business against any kind of abuse, this legal document also enables you to build credibility and trust with your users.
You inform them of their rights and responsibilities towards your company and business, as well as yours towards them, which shows that you are a professional who is trustworthy.
If you plan on changing anything in your agreement, you need to inform them about the changes in advance and clearly state when they are going to take place.
It is highly recommended to keep your legal agreements separate as, it also lets your users know that each of the documents has a completely different purpose. It also helps them understand and comprehend and retain all of the information easier.
But you need to make sure that the agreements are easy, clear, concise and written in plain language that your users will be able to understand because not everyone will understand various legal and technical terms.
These agreements will help your website or mobile app users feel safe and secure when using your services, so you can easily form meaningful relationships with them and expand your customer base.
Moreover, you will effectively protect your business against any potential legal claims and liabilities by your website visitors or mobile app users and make sure that it stays on the right road to success.
Therefore, make sure that you properly and carefully draft these legal documents and that you make them clearly available and easily accessible by your users.
If Your Website’s Visitors are Located in Singapore
If most of your visitors will be in Singapore, then the law governing their privacy is the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).
The PDPA requires that you obtain your visitors’ consent to collect whatever data you are collecting from them, for whatever purposes you need to use it.
If Your Website’s Visitors are Located within the European Union or European Economic Area
If some of your visitors are located within the European Union or the European Economic Area (even if your company is not located within either area), then the applicable law is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
This law was introduced in May 2018 and grants European residents a wide range of privacy rights. For more information, see our guide on how Singapore companies can comply with the GDPR.
If Your Website’s Visitors are Located in USA
California is the first state to adopt state-wide privacy legislation in the US through the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which came into effect on January 1, 2020.
The Golden State follows in the footsteps of the major changes done by GDPR to the use of personal information on the Internet. Other states that acted similarly are Maine and Nevada, but which only passed new privacy legislation or amendments to existing law.
The CCPA differs from the GDPR by giving its users full power and responsibility to request businesses to disclose or delete the data they have already collected, or to opt-out completely of third-party data sales.
The CCPA applies to every company in the world if it collects personal data of California residents.
According to the local laws of California, any person who is in California for other than a temporary or transitory purpose or has their domicile within the state borders is a California resident. This definition is available whether they are accessing the internet from inside or outside California.
GDPR and CCPA are at the forefront of the privacy legislation, and both laws have prodded jurisdictions to enact similar data privacy laws. For businesses, their Website policy must be compliant with these regulations. It should collect/process data in harmony with the provisions of these laws.
Because of the bespoke nature of privacy policies, it is advisable to engage a lawyer or a legal consultant to draft one for your website rather than trying to draft one yourself.
The pricing by law firms of this service is usually extremely competitive and affordable.
They will sit down with you to figure out how the factors above apply to your company, what your company’s data collection and retention needs actually are and come up with a policy that’s actually usable for your company.
Our team is adept at drafting website policies that adhere to the privacy laws of different jurisdictions. When necessary, we prepare policies specific to users from various jurisdictions. Besides, our team is an expert in formulating app policies of your organization in consonance with the website policies, different third-party app hosting services [Google play and I-store], and payment vendors.
We not only draft website policies but map the risks embedded in the firm’s practices related to data management. Laws are dynamic, and on time updating of policies are required to ensure that the firm is not caught behind the regulatory curve. To address this aspect, we provide policy audits at regular intervals to organizations.
Distinct features of our Service
Questionnaire to understand client requirements
Follow-up clarification on the questionnaire, if required.
Flexible timelines to accommodate client’s need
Discussion after the first draft
Revisions and submission of Final document
Post submission Final document support services