Saturday, November 3, 2012

How to write a privacy policy or disclaimer, and why you need one

Full Disclosure: We're weirdos. 

I recently wrote a privacy policy for my blog as a general disclaimer for my readers, so they know what to expect from my blog. 

If your blog or website doesn't already have a privacy policy, disclaimer, or full disclosure policy, write one! It lets readers know if they need to turn cookies on or off, whether you're selling items, if you're an affiliate, and that your website is safe from virus links. It's also a place to let people know that the content on the site is yours, and if it isn't, you'll cite it. You can give people to use permission to use your content if they cite accurately, or request that they ask permission before using your words or pictures. 

You want to use professional, specific language, and cover all aspects of your blog that people knowingly or unknowingly encounter. It doesn't need to be a focal point of your website. Most privacy policies are discretely placed at the very bottom of the page in somewhat small letters. Since mine is long, there is a link leading to a hidden page containing the whole policy. Some blogs with a shorter policy just put the whole thing down there. 

Feel free to use my format as a guide for writing your own privacy policy. Below are some categories you may want to discuss in your disclaimer. If you have any questions about anything in the disclaimer, ask in the comments!

Content Usage
This is where you want to specify citation policies and general ownership of your blog's content. 

Feel free to use any content or pictures from The Framed Lady, but please cite. Additional written consent is not required, unless specified. If you would like to use an entire post (i.e. a guest post, of sorts) or multiple posts on your site, please inquire before using. All content and pictures on this blog are the sole property of me, Tess, owner of all things “The Framed Lady,” unless otherwise specified. If an idea or image is not mine, I cite the original source to the best of my ability.

Advertising and Affiliations
This is where you want to disclose your personal and professional affiliations and advertising connections. If you do sponsoring on your blog, say so. If you use Google Ad sense, say so. If you are an Amazon affiliate, say so. Same goes with any other companies (I'm looking at you, Shabby Apples). Do you host sponsored giveaways on your blog? Do you offer ongoing discounts for stores?

The Framed Lady contains advertising and some contextual affiliate marketing links from Amazon, as well as other sites. This means that I may get commission on sales of the products that I link in my posts. I’m not trying to hide it or trick you into giving me a chunk of the money from your purchases. I’ll be wide open in saying that’s what I want you to do. The prices of the items are not higher in order for me to get a commission. You pay the same price, but you’ll be helping a sister out.

Some items or services may be labeled “c/o.” This means I was given the item or service in exchange for advertising or reviewing it on my blog. I list anything that I was given by a store or brand, free of charge, as "courtesy of" or "c/o".

Cookies and Web Beacons
This and the next section is where you specify any softwares that your blog may use. Just copy the whole thing. It also lets your readers know that certain ad programs (like Google Adsense) track their previous search history to customize ads to fit their consumer needs, that their history is not controlled or even seen by you, the blogger, and that they have the option to disable certain softwares. 

The Framed Lady does use cookies to store information about visitors preferences, record user-specific information on which pages the user accesses or visits, customize Web page content based on visitors browser type or other information that the visitor sends via their browser.

DoubleClick DART Cookie
.:: Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on The Framed Lady.
.:: Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to users based on their visit to The Framed Lady and other sites on the Internet.
.:: Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy at the following URL -

Some of our advertising partners may use cookies and web beacons on our site. Our advertising partners include....
Google Adsense

These third-party ad servers or ad networks use technology to the advertisements and links that appear on send directly to your browsers. They automatically receive your IP address when this occurs. Other technologies (such as cookies, JavaScript, or Web Beacons ) may also be used by the third-party ad networks to measure the effectiveness of their advertisements and / or to personalize the advertising content that you see.

The Framed Lady has no access to or control over these cookies that are used by third-party advertisers.

You should consult the respective privacy policies of these third-party ad servers for more detailed information on their practices as well as for instructions about how to opt-out of certain practices. The Framed Lady’s privacy policy does not apply to, and we cannot control the activities of, such other advertisers or web sites.

If you wish to disable cookies, you may do so through your individual browser options. More detailed information about cookie management with specific web browsers can be found at the browsers' respective websites.

Lastly, leave your contact information, so that readers can ask you any remaining questions. 

For any other questions, or to inquire about content usage, feel free to email me at

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