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Website Documents – Terms of Use and Privacy Policies

Any online commerce business or interactive website needs at least two “legalese” documents on their site – the terms that a customer agrees to when the visit the page (the “Terms of Use”) and a document explaining what information about customers is collected on the site, why that information is collected, how it is used, and how it is stored ( a “Privacy Policy”). Terms of Use allow a business to contractually prohibit competitors from stealing content from the site, but it also is the business’s opportunity to protect itself from some kinds of liability, to set age limits for entering the site, and to set commercial terms like return policies. They can also limit where consumers can bring a lawsuit, so a website operator isn’t chasing down litigation all over the country.  We all know nobody reads these terms, of course, but they need to be there and a customer needs to know that they are there before a court will find them enforceable.

Privacy policies are equally important. It used to be that the only advice we really had to give about privacy policies was “don’t lie” – in other words, don’t overpromise security or sell your customer’s personal information to third parties without telling them first.  Nowadays, privacy laws are springing up in every state that have real compliance implications. We don’t give you a template policy and ask you to conform your business to it. We ask you the right questions so we can draft documents that are in line with how you do business, but we also make sure you understand any compliance obligations you have.