Data privacy is an important issue for genealogy websites, as they often contain sensitive personal information about individuals and their families. Bloggers should be mindful of the information they collect and take steps to protect their reader’s privacy online.
But I Don’t Collect User Information
Do you have a contact form on your website? Then you are collecting an email address.
Can users register on your website? Then you are collecting an email address, and maybe more.
Can users make a purchase on your website? You are collecting a customer’s name and address. While you may not be storing credit card information, the app you are using to complete the purchase might be.
If a user clicks on a link, does the website link change color? If the next time they access your website, the color is still changed, that information is being stored in a cookie.
Start with a Privacy Page
- Overview: The privacy page starts with an overview of the site’s commitment to protecting user privacy and a brief explanation of the types of information that may be collected.
- Personal information collection: The page then outlines the types of personal information that may be collected by the website, such as email addresses, IP addresses, and cookies.
- Use of personal information: The privacy page explains how the personal information collected may be used, such as for analytics, email marketing, and account management.
- Data sharing: The page also outlines whether and how user data may be shared with third-party services or partners.
- Cookies: The privacy page provides a brief explanation of how cookies may be used on the site and how users can control cookie preferences.
- Opt-out policy: The page may also include an opt-out policy, allowing users to request that their personal information be deleted from the site’s databases.
The Importance of Transparency
When it comes to privacy, it is important to be transparent with your visitors. In fact, it is required by European law.
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a comprehensive privacy regulation in the EU that aims to protect the personal data of individuals and harmonize data protection laws across Europe. Published in 2016, the GDPR impacts anyone with a website visible in the EU, not just hosted there.
In a nutshell, the GDPR gives members of the EU the right to know what you are collecting about them, only allows that information to be collected if they have given consent, and requires that websites erase all information their information on request.
Fortunately “There’s a Plugin for That”
Being fully transparent and compliant with the GDPR can seem daunting, but there are WordPress plugins that can help.
- Cookie Notice – This plugin helps website owners comply with cookie consent regulations by providing a customizable cookie notice that can be displayed to users. It includes options for customizing the notice text, colors, and fonts. This plugin is also available for free in the WordPress plugin repository.
- Delete Me – This plugin allows users to request the deletion of their personal data from the website. It provides an easy-to-use interface for users to submit data deletion requests and for administrators to process those requests. This plugin is available for free in the WordPress plugin repository.
- WP Security Audit Log – This plugin provides comprehensive logging and tracking of all user and site activity on the WordPress website. It can help website owners identify and respond to potential security threats and data breaches. The plugin provides real-time alerts, detailed reports, and a user-friendly interface for reviewing site activity. This plugin is available for free in the WordPress plugin repository.
- Complianz GDPR/CCPA Cookie Consent – This plugin helps website owners comply with GDPR and CCPA cookie consent regulations by providing a customizable cookie notice and consent management system. It includes options for customizing the notice text, colors, and fonts, as well as a range of consent management features. This plugin is available in both free and premium versions.
Data privacy continues to be a growing concern. With the increasing amount of personal information being shared online, it’s critical to ensure that your website is not contributing to the problem. With a few basic precautions and the help of a WordPress plugin, it is not as hard as you might think to be transparent with your visitors.